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The dirty secret behind the green Norwegian economy
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Norway, symbol of global pollution

Norway is widely regarded as the most developed, happy and democratic country in the world and is also labeled as one of the leaders of the sustainable economy of the future. However, this environmentally friendly image conceals a reality where the country should be criticized as a symbol of global pollution. That's what James Watkins, a journalist at the Ozy news site, says.
oil platform, sea, boat, ice
In the rich countries, only Sweden and Switzerland have an economy that operates less intensively on carbon dioxide, but at the same time Norway must be one of the largest exporters of oil and gas.

Emissions

If one would integrate the export of fossil fuels into the ecological footprint of Norway, the sustainable image of the country does not have much left. At present, the country is one of the nations with the lowest levels of carbon dioxide on the entire planet, but including exports, the country would become by far the largest producer in the rich world.
The Norwegian export of oil and gas causes about 500 million carbon dioxide annually. The domestic economy barely shows a level of 50 million tons. Per gross domestic product, Norway would even achieve the highest score in terms of emissions within the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
graphic oil pumping sea
"Of course, the other OECD countries also export fossil fuels, but that relationship shows much less extreme scores," writes James Watkins. "In Canada, the ecological footprint would increase by 115 percent, while Australia would register a tripling. In Norway, however, there is a tenfold increase. "

According to Watkins, these differences can have a major impact, since they have a direct influence on the way in which parties are thought to have the greatest moral duty to deal with climate change most intensively.

 

 

Responsibility

"Norway accepts no responsibility for its exported emissions," says Robbie Andrew, researcher at the Center for International Climate Research in Oslo. "This can be compared to the sale of weapons to a country that is at war and committed to atrocities and the supplier. not take responsibility because you do not leave the trigger yourself. "
According to Watkins, the Norwegian example shows that in a globalized economy there is no point in working solely with national emission data. According to him, this can also be determined in the United States.
"Norway is faced with a unique paradox," acknowledges the journalist. "A large part of the enormous wealth of the country is built on the export of its fossil fuel. The Norwegian Oljefondet is the largest state fund in the world with a portfolio of more than 1 trillion dollars. "
"This richness is also one of the elements that has led Norway to be one of the best welfare states in the world, and that does not want to endanger most people, so it's almost impossible to find a majority in Norway the production of fossil fuels wants to stop. "Defenders of the Norwegian economy also point out that the country also invests hundreds of millions of dollars in sustainable programs elsewhere in the world.
"The moral dilemma can ultimately become an existential crisis for the Norwegian economy," warns Christoffer Ringnes Klyve, chairman of the environmental association Future in Our Hands. "After all, Norway is worldwide leader in electric cars, but is also one of the engines of a trend that will eventually undermine the market for its most important export product - oil. That is a huge national dilemma. "

Marc Horckmans, editor express

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