Norway’s new center-left government has stated that it will work to expand the country’s profitable oil and gas industry while also reducing carbon emissions.
Before gaining office following last month’s federal election, the Labour-led coalition published their energy policy.
The administration stated that by 2030, it hoped to reduce net emissions by 55 percent.
However, Norway, Western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer, acknowledged the transition to green energy would be gradual.
The Labour and Centre parties will form a minority coalition to replace the conservative-led government that controlled Norway for eight years.
One of the most difficult tasks facing the incoming government will be to move away from oil and gas, which has long been the backbone of Norway’s economy.
Norway’s petroleum sector accounts for roughly 40% of its exports and 14% of its gross domestic product (GDP).
While Norway’s reliance on oil and gas was a point of contention throughout the election campaign, the new administration stated it needed to strike a balance between social and economic concerns and climate change ambitions.
Just weeks before the important international climate summit, COP26, in Scotland, the government reaffirmed its commitment to ongoing oil and gas exploration.
The conference is being viewed as a critical opportunity for governments to agree on more stringent carbon emission reduction objectives.
A key United Nations research released in August found that human-caused fossil fuel emissions were changing the climate in unprecedented and perhaps disastrous ways.
Norway’s government announced it would follow through on a plan to boost the country’s carbon tax to 2,000 Norwegian kroner (£173; $230) per tonne in order to reduce emissions.
Norway is now in line with the European Union thanks to the government’s revised emissions target. The EU also wants to cut net emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
Despite the fact that Norway is not a member of the EU, it is closely tied due to its participation in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Schengen free-travel zone.