Climate goals may by unrealistic

Government says ending oil industry “won’t help” cut global emissions

climate goals Tina Bru

Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB Scanpix
Tina Bru, co-deputy leader of the Conservatives, is considered to be one of one its “green profiles,” yet she believes that the target of zero greenhouse emissions by 2035 is not a realistic or desirable goal.

The Local

Norway’s oil and energy minister says that the oil-rich country would be “of no help” to the environment if it ceased its production of the fossil fuel.

Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru said in an interview with NRK that, although she wants the ruling Conservative party to be greener, the debate on a deadline for oil and gas production is irrelevant.

Bru, who has also been named by Prime Minister Erna Solberg as the co-deputy leader of the Conservative party (Høyre), is considered within the party itself to be one of its “green profiles,” NRK writes.

“I am very concerned about achieving our climate goals. I think this must permeate all politics. It’s not just about the climate and the environment but about how we arrange society as a whole,” Bru said on the program “Politisk kvarter.”

The minister is against proposals that would protect the Lofoten and Vesterålen regions from oil drilling, reintroducing a framework for wind power expansion and setting an end date for oil drilling.

Bru previously espoused a target of zero greenhouse gas emissions from the Norwegian offshore oil industry by 2035, but she now agrees with the industry’s own goal to achieve this by 2050.

Green policies are not solely about setting an end date for Norwegian oil and gas, the petroleum minister argued, citing the transport and energy sectors and food waste as important elements of climate targets.

“If we set an end date for Norwegian oil and gas now, it would not help us along the way to reaching our goals. Emissions must go down, but this is done in partnership with Europe,” the minister said.

“That we have this debate to such an extent that it dominates nearly all climate debates, I honestly think is a form of derailment. It’s almost an irrelevant debate,” she told NRK.

“It won’t help if Norway discontinues production. It would just move to other countries, and then we have gotten no further. This is a complex global problem, which requires many solutions. I honestly think we spend too much time on this debate here in Norway,” Bru said.

Minister of Climate and Environment Sveinung Rotevatn last week received Norwegian Environment Agency (Miljødirektoratet) recommendations on how to achieve the country’s 2030 climate goals.

Changes in consumption and emissions-free traffic are among the measures experts propose to halve emissions by 2030.

This article was originally published on The Local.

This article originally appeared in the February 21, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.