Erna Solberg donated NOK 100 million to prevent marine damage and encouraged the G7 countries to contribute. She also didn’t reject domestic plastic bans in the future.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Høyre (H) asked the G7 countries to contribute money to a fund against marine degradation when she launched the sustainable aquaculture issue at the G7 meeting in Quebec, Canada last Saturday.
Solberg took the opportunity to announce that Norway would contribute 100 million kroner to the fund, which Norway initiated this year, and which will be under the World Bank.
“Nobody is committed to making money on this now,” said Solberg.She nevertheless believed that Norway had sown a seed.
“In addition, the World Bank held a very good post on how they will spend the money,” Solberg told the Norwegian press after the meeting,where she, as the Norwegian prime minister, had been sitting around the table with G7 leaders.
Solberg also used the opportunity to invite researchers from the G7 to an ocean research conference in Bergen this autumn.
Solberg told the Norwegian press ahead of the meeting that she would urge the G7 countries to join in a comprehensive approach to various marine challenges, such as degradation, overfishing and illegal fishing.
“We can clean as much plastic at the water’s edge as we want in Norway,but these are water currents that move across the globe, so it’s so important to see this in context. Just like climate, the seas need global community solutions,’’ she stressed.
This comprehensive approach was well received, Solberg could tell. The same was true of Norway’s initiative to stop the plastic pollution of the world’s oceans.
During the conference, there was also great interest in Norway’s management
of fisheries resources and success in preventing illegal fishing.
“There was a lot of interest in this. Countries such as Seychelles and Kenya see that a quarter of their revenues disappear in illegal fishing,’’ said Solberg.
The Prime Minister was also not averse to considering a ban on some plastic
products in Norway, but said the plastic problem is limited in Norway because we recycle most of it. In countries where recycling systems do not work as well, prohibition may be more relevant, she believed.
‘’But Q-tips in plastic are a big problem in Norway. The entire Oslofjord is full of
them,’’ she said.
She adds laconically that the government introduced the baggage fee, which was highly disputed and ridiculed in 2015 and later reversed.
“Now plastic awareness is so strong that there is a completely different momentum to introduce limitations and other behavioural changes. It was a historic time for a fee,’’.
That Norway had been invited to the G7 was considered a big feather in the prime minister’s hat. The Sosialistisk Venstreparti (SV), on the other hand, believe that Solberg is not a good representative for Norway in this context.
“I think it’s quite special that Solberg goes to G7 and teaches about the ocean. The government is raging the Norwegian model with a coastal-based fisheries management in favour of a liberalist market model where power is gathered in a few hands. It does not build strong coastal communities, but settles them,” said SV’s representative on the Norwegian Parliament’s Nutrition Committee, Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes to NTB news.
He believes that the conversion about fish also leads to more industrial fishing that causes more damage to the fish than traditional small-boat fishing.
Erna Solberg called SV’s criticism “petty”.
“SV should also be proud of Norway’s debate internationally, rather than being petty and concerned with marking its own small political stance,” Solberg told NTB.
She said there is no doubt that Norway manages its fishery resources in a good way, and she believes the government’s reorganization has been necessary for retaining and recruiting fishermen.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today