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Norway opens for Arctic oil drilling

The Norwegian government has today opened for oil drilling in the Arctic. – The Norwegian Prime Minister ignores the risk of climate change by opening for an oil-bonanza in Arctic waters, says Lars Haltbrekken, chairman of Naturvernforbundet – Friends of the Earth Norway.

Current policy in Norway says no to oil-drilling by the polar ice edge. Today, the Norwegian government decided to change its definition of the ice edge further north in order to open for oil-drilling in these areas. Commenting on this change, the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, stated that the change was done because “nature has moved the ice edge”.

- Climate change moves the polar ice edge further north. This is now used as an excuse to open new areas for oil-drilling. What we need is the opposite: less oil and gas in order to keep the Arctic ice from shrinking, says Haltbrekken.

Friends of the Earth Norway demand a stop to Arctic drilling. Recent studies have argued that all fossil reserves in the Arctic must be kept in the ground in order to limit global warming to maximum two degrees. These are also vulnerable ecosystems that should be saved from the risk of oil drilling.

- The polar ice edge is a vulnerable and sensitive area. The Norwegian government has regrettably prioritized the oil industry instead of our ecosystems and fishing industry, says Haltbrekken.

For further information and comments:

Lars Haltbrekken, Chairman of Naturvernforbundet, +47 916 12 191

The article was last updated on: 20.01.2015

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