Norway’s plan to ramp up oil and gas production in the Arctic threatens global efforts to tackle climate change, according to a new study.
The research says 12 gigatonnes of carbon could be added by exploration sites in the Barents Sea and elsewhere over the next 50 years, which is 1.5 times more than the Norwegian fields currently being tapped or under construction.
The authors of the report from Oil Change International – an NGO backed by Friends of the Earth, WWF and Greenpeace – say this undermines the 2015 Paris agreement to cut worldwide emissions in order to keep the planet’s temperature rise to between 1.5C and 2C.
The report highlights the “cognitive dissonance” between Norway’s progressive domestic measures to comply with the Paris agreement on emissions cuts and its role as Europe’s biggest exporter of fossil fuels.
Climate campaigners say this is like trying to put the brakes on climate change at home while stomping your foot on the global gas pedal, reported the Guardian.
Norway has proposed a record number of 93 blocks for oil and gas exploration in the Barents Sea this year, according to the report. Instead of adding new fossil fuel fields, it says Norway should reassert its environmental credentials by relying on existing production.
The study is the first of several detailed country-by-country follow-ups on a broader survey done by the group last year that highlighted the gulf between global pledges and national actions.
They focussed on Norway because it has long been a supporter of ambitious global reduction targets and has used part of its oil revenues to develop renewable technologies and tackle deforestation.