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Most Norwegians support their country’s current commitment to continue to search for oil and gas, even though Norway has the highest electric vehicle (EV) penetration anywhere in the world.
Norway is set to hold a parliamentary election on September 13, a few months after the current government of a conservative-led coalition said in June that the Norwegian oil and gas sector will continue to play a major role in long-term job creation, economic growth prospects, and value for the country.
A recent poll of Norstat carried out for Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) showed on Monday that 55 percent of respondents wanted Norway to continue oil exploration, while 32 percent were against it.
The survey was carried out after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published on August 9 a report warning that the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will be beyond reach unless the world makes immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
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According to the latest election polls, the current government coalition in Norway will not be re-elected, Bloomberg notes.
However, a leftist and climate-conscious coalition would face challenges to change the current pro-oil government policy, not least because Norway is one of Europe’s richest countries thanks to the decades of oil revenues amassed in the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund with US$1.3 trillion in assets and holdings of 1.4 percent of all of the world’s listed companies.
Norway doesn’t have any second thoughts about oil exploration and investment in light of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) report suggesting that no new fossil fuel exploration would be needed for a net-zero world.
Western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer is doubling down on oil development and continues to consider oil exploration and production a critical part of its economy and income for the state.
Bu Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com
Moreover, the majority of Norwegians know where their bread and butter is, namely in the country’s oil and gas wealth.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London