Theater of Cruelty

Living in climate change


Over the past week we have experienced forest fires in Portugal, while almost a hundred people have lost their lives in floods in Central Europe. Hurricane Katrina has ravaged the areas around New Orleans and Mississippi. No one knows yet how many have died, but the material damage amounts to billions.

We are now experiencing what climate scientists have warned against and described. The director of the UN environmental program Klaus Töpfer told German newspapers in the midst of the flood that we live in climate change. Large hurricanes occur in oceans that are above 26 degrees Celsius, and we know that the ocean is warming and that the frequency and intensity of extreme weather phenomena is increasing. The fact that the earth is warming, largely due to emissions from the burning of oil, coal and gas, and other human activities, few scientists disagree.

The question of whether to take the climate threat seriously and reduce emissions leading to dangerous climate change is one of the most important political dividing lines in international politics. The first thing George Bush did when he became president of the United States was to declare that he did not believe climate change was man-made, and therefore decided that the United States should reject the Kyoto climate agreement, which Bill Clinton advocated. In Norway, this policy is only supported by Carl I. Hagen and the Progress Party.

Fighting for new international agreements that commit the global community to take the climate threat seriously is one of the most important tasks we can use Norway's voice for in the international debate. As an oil-producing country, we have a special responsibility and an opportunity to be listened to. But it requires a new climate policy, which shows that we are also willing to sweep for our own door. The main points of such a new climate policy must be:

- Norway must fulfill the obligations in the Kyoto agreement, and at least half of the greenhouse gas reductions must take place nationally.

- Norway must adopt a generational goal for climate emissions. In the long term, emissions will be reduced by 50 percent. (Sweden and the United Kingdom have such long-term goals)

- Polluting gas power plants will not be built, and the state must contribute to developing technology that allows us to clean and deposit CO2.

- The state will contribute to building infrastructure that makes it possible to clean and deposit CO2 emissions from large point sources such as the refinery at Mongstad, the industry in Grenland and the gas plants at Kolsnes, Kårstø and Melkøya.

- We will implement a historic investment in new renewable energy sources such as bioenergy, wind, waterborne heat, heat pumps, tidal power and energy saving.

- The railway will be modernized, and it will be easy to travel by public transport.

Environmental and climate policies require a long-term perspective and a willingness to prioritize over time. A red-green majority government has the opportunity to create such a stable long-term commitment. For environmental policy, the most important thing is that Carl I. Hagen is kept out of any influence. The safest environmental choice is therefore to vote for the only red-green party in Norway, namely SV.

Heidi Sørensen, Deputy Representative SV


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