Environmentalists question Norway climate leadership / News / The Foreigner

Environmentalists question Norway climate leadership. COP17 delegates in Durban say rising Norwegian emissions disqualify it from heading the fight against climate change. “Norway has no leadership role in the fight against global warming as long as national emissions continue to increase and recovery of oil and gas is intensified,” Nnimmo Bassey, head of network Friends of the Earth International (FOEI), said at the UN climate summit. The country’s total greenhouse gas emissions have increased approximately eight percent since 1990. Most other Western European countries managed a visible reduction in the same period, reports Aftenposten.

globalco2emissions, globalclimatechange, ciceronorway, durbancop17cmp7



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Environmentalists question Norway climate leadership

Published on Friday, 9th December, 2011 at 18:45 under the news category, by Ioana Dan and Michael Sandelson   .

COP17 delegates in Durban say rising Norwegian emissions disqualify it from heading the fight against climate change.

Pollution
Pollution
Photo: Dr. Keats/Flickr


Oil sands spoil

“Norway has no leadership role in the fight against global warming as long as national emissions continue to increase and recovery of oil and gas is intensified,” Nnimmo Bassey, head of network Friends of the Earth International (FOEI), said at the UN climate summit.

The country’s total greenhouse gas emissions have increased approximately eight percent since 1990. Most other Western European countries managed a visible reduction in the same period, reports Aftenposten.

Amongst record global carbon emissions levels, Norway fell 12 places in this year’s Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI).

FOEI also bases it criticism on Statoil’s increased investments in oil sands, higher oil exploration on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and Government Global Pension Fund (Oil Fund) ownership interests in companies that are ravaging the rainforest.

“Global warming is caused by burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal. The more you extract, the greater the emissions. Countries like Norway cannot act with one voice internationally, while continuing its hostile climate policy at home,” declared Mr Bassey, concerned at Statoil’s larger investments in the Canadian oil sands.

“Oil sand is one of the worst environmental crimes in the world. It leads to millions of tons of CO2 emissions, creating conflicts with local people and contributing to health problems through toxic pollution. It is shocking that a state-owned Norwegian company wants to invest in these environmentally hostile operations.”

Palm-off?

Norway also attracted criticism over its Indonesian rainforest deal, aimed at helping the climate by reducing deforestation. Billions of kroner in aid is poured into the project every year, but local industrial companies would rather use it towards producing palm oil.

Mina Setra, one of the leaders in umbrella organisation AMAN, which gathers approximately 1,700 indigenous people in Indonesia, accused Norway of “saving the rainforest with one hand, whilst destroying it with the other. It’s a hypocritical policy.”

“Norway has a moral responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at home if we are to succeed in the fight against global warming as one of the world's richest countries,” she said, urging the Oil Fund to withdraw its investments from companies that fell rainforest trees in favour of palm oil plantations.

Ms Setra declared, “Plantation operations create major social, economic and cultural problems for indigenous people and local communities. It destroys freshwater resources and ravages places that are sacred or spiritual significance to the indigenous people.”

20 such companies involved in this practise in Indonesia and Malaysia are listed in the fund’s investment portfolio, according to Rainforest Foundation Norway.

Responding to Ms Setra’s calls, Norway’s Environment Minister Erik Solheim warned he would now ask the Fund’s ethical council to check guidelines had not been set aside.

“Palm oil is an okay product, but plantations shall not be established by chopping rainforest down,” he said, echoing his previous threat to withdraw financial support if officials insist on defining palm oil plantations as forests.

Untrue

Meanwhile, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg answered Friends of the Earth International allegations the government was dragging its feet to cut emissions at home, calling Norway a “climate policy advocate”.

“The problem is that many countries today, including those who emit most greenhouse gases, do not want a legally-binding agreement at all. Norway is amongst the best countries regarding this.”

“We are one of the few countries willing to take on binding emission reduction commitments. We surpass our Kyoto commitments and have said that we will be carbon neutral by 2030 or 2050, depending on which international agreement we have. On top of this we are helping to halt deforestation, for example, in Brazil, leading to large reductions in emissions,” he said.




Published on Friday, 9th December, 2011 at 18:45 under the news category, by Ioana Dan and Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: globalco2emissions, globalclimatechange, ciceronorway, durbancop17cmp7.





  
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