International media: Will a change of government in Norway lead to a shift away from oil?

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The parliamentary elections, taking place today throughout Norway, has generated much interest worldwide. Foreign media have placed a big focus on the climate and oil debate so prevalent during campaigning. There is also mention of the paradox of modern Norway, a country that espouses environmental policies yet has largely gotten rich off the extraction of “dirty” fossil fuels. We take a look at what the world has to say.

The view from the Nordic neighbourhood

There is significant interest in the debates in the countries that neighbor Norway. The Danish newspaper, Politiken, has written on two of the big personalities in this election: leader of the Conservative Party (Høyre, H) and Prime Minister Erna Solberg and the Center Party (Senterpartiet, SP) leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum. They note the Prime Minister has seen a drop in popularity after breaking “her own corona rules” whilst Vedum’s party has fallen in support since he announced he would run as a prime ministerial candidate.

Across the border in Sweden, TV4 has picked up on the hot issue of the handling of the coronavirus by the Government whilst Svenska YLE has written about how poverty and inequality are two important election issues for many Norwegians.

French and German view: Oil and “mini-Brexit”

Further south, the two big European political and economic powers, France and Germany, have also seen their media talk about the elections. The French news agency, AFP, has given significant mention to the European Economic Association (EEA), which Norway is a member of, opposition of two parties that may well be part of a new government the Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti, SV) and the SP.

In Germany, the German state broadcaster, ARD asks whether a change of government might lead to a shift away from oil. It also questioned the future of the Norwegian oil industry if there is a change in government. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung talks about the possible loss of power for the current Government. As the election has drawn closer, it writes, there have been improved chances for parties with social democratic ideologies, like the AP and SV.

The Anglosphere view: Climate change but at a price?

In the anglosphere, both the United Kingdom and the United States media are interested in the election too.

Time Magazine has written about how Norway has grown rich on the back of its oil industry but that “climate change is now forcing the country to consider slaughtering the money cow.” It writes that this election, essentially, is a referendum on Norway’s dependence on oil. Furthermore, the paradox of modern Norway’s prosperity is also mentioned. Norway can make a major contribution to the fight against climate change due to its economic prosperity. However, much of this wealth has been accumulated by oil and gas exports.

Across the North Sea, in the United Kingdom, The Financial Times succinctly states that “Norwegian prosperity cannot buy oil peace.”

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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