Civil society leaders slam Norway’s approval for new oil and gas licenses 

30 June 2023

30 June 2023: Civil society groups have condemned the Norwegian government’s decision to approve 19 new oil and gas projects.
Climate impacts are making headlines as heatwaves, wildfires and drought grip different parts of the world. The science is explicitly clear –  any new fossil fuel production and expansion will shatter the 1.5C temperature threshold. Norway, one of the richest countries in the world, boasted a quarterly profit of $84 billion on its trillion dollar sovereign wealth fund and must be leading on the transition out of fossil fuels into renewables.  

Statements below: 

“Norway’s reprehensible plan to open new oil and gas projects, amounting to nearly USD 19 billion, exposes the deep-seated carbon colonialism entrenched in the climate crisis.
As small island developing states grapple with the existential threat of sea-level rise and millions live through a prolonged drought in East Africa, it is disgustingly hypocritical for one of the richest nations, which amassed its wealth from burning fossil fuels and contributed to the climate crisis, to squander the last remains of the carbon budget shutting down opportunities for developing countries to have their fair share of the carbon budget.
Norway must cease all new fossil fuel production, immediately initiate plans for a rapid phase out of fossil fuels and pay up towards the trillions required for climate damages. Norway must be held accountable.” – Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network

“At a time when oil is known to be a deadly commodity for communities, and despite years of objection by fishers in Lofoten and other areas, Norway is approving 19 new oil and gas fields.
Coming at a time when Norway should be a climate leader by shutting down fossil fuels exploitation and turning fully to renewables, this investment may swell the Norwegian government’s treasury but the truth is that it will pile further burdens on vulnerable communities elsewhere, including in Africa. This is a toxic investment and shows a lack of recognition and disdain for intergenerational responsibility. Nnimmo Bassey, Steering Committee Member, OilWatch Africa 

“In the year of the Petro-CoP, false promises by northern governments are going to be exposed.  How do those who have polluted the most and taken up an unfair share of carbon space, expect the global South to stop fossil fuels while they expand and delay immediate and deep cuts in their fossil fuel addiction?
We stand in solidarity with our Norwegian environmental justice movement who are fighting against this” – Bobby Peek, Groundwork, South Africa

“The Norwegian government is hellbent on opening new oil fields that will produce fossil fuels decades into the future. It is blatantly disregarding the climate, the science, and even our own Supreme Court in its effort to please the oil industry. We are committed to stopping it by holding the government accountable to its own laws.” – Frode Pleym, Head of Greenpeace, Norway

The desperate and shameless act of climate destruction from Norway, one of richest countries, comes at the time when the world is literally on fire. It pushes us full speed deeper into the climate crisis using the guise of energy security. There is no security in fossil fuels. Russia’s war in Ukraine has shown that real energy security comes from shifting out of fossil fuels to sustainable renewable energy sources.
Norway should follow its Eastern European neighbors like Romania and Ukraine who are prioritizing a clean energy transition. Norway has more resources than any other country to save the world, not to destroy it.
– Svitlana Romanko, Director, Razom We Stand

“Norway’s decision to approve over $18bn investment in new oil and gas projects is a slap in the face for the most climate vulnerable nations across Africa that suffer debilitating climate impacts, while they contribute the least to the climate crisis.
Rather than actively facilitating an unlivable future for the most affected through harmful and irresponsible fossil fuel projects, developed nations must instead support the pursuit of a just transition in Africa and beyond, for the good of all humanity.” – Landry Ninteretse, Regional Director,

“The Norwegian government’s green light for 19 new oil and gas projects while claiming to be climate leaders, is nothing short of an act of hypocrisy and cowardice. Norway needs to make a 180° turn and end the expansion of any new oil and gas projects.
To truly lead on climate action, they should join a growing bloc of nation states who are developing a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, a new international mechanism that would support countries to transition away from these dirty, dangerous fuels fast, fairly and forever.” – Michael Poland, Campaign Director for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

“Once again, Norway is showing its climate hypocrisy. As wildfires are raging in Canada and heatwaves are taking lives in India, Norway approves 19 new oil and gas field developments. The world’s leading climate scientists say we must stop drilling for new oil and fossil gas to secure a liveable future – but despite this Norway keeps drilling. If Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and the rest of the Norwegian government want to be taken seriously on the international climate stage, they need to align Norway’s oil and gas policies with a 1.5 degree scenario, and start planning now for a fair, full, and fast phase out of all fossil fuels.” – Silje Ask Lundberg, North Sea campaign manager, Oil Change International


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