The drilling of oil and gas in the islands of Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja in the Northern Sea has been a huge topic during the elections of September 2017 in Norway. Environmental groups such as Folkeaksjon, Nature and Youth, Friends of the Earth Norway and others have gone very strong to stop the research for drilling up North, claiming among other things that the oil should be left in the ground while we find other solutions for the Norwegian economy which are better for the environment and carbon emissions.
Norway is a petrol nation, and one can wonder how on Earth that decision would ever become a political reality. Guess what, it just did. In order to create a new government with a larger amount of seats in the Parliament, the three right wing parties the Conservatives (Høyre), the Liberal Party (Venstre) and the Progress Party (FrP) made a new political deal for the country. The Liberal Party entered the government, and therefore a new political platform was agreed upon, including environmental issues. The plans for drilling in the Northern Sea are stopped for the period the government thinks it will stay in power, i.e. 4 years, until the next elections. This is a huge success for many, not the least for the Liberal Party and environmental groups. It is a very welcome success just weeks after Greenpeace and Nature and Youth lost against the State when challenging oil drilling in the Arctic.
The downside of this: this new government has made a lot of new deals to include the Liberal Party in government, some of which not so great for immigrants. For example they will require DNA testing for all family reunification, to become a Norwegian citizen will take longer, and stricter language requirements.
To be continued, with new Ministers being named soon.