Theater of Cruelty

New or steady course?


Does it have any purpose to change government? Will the Stoltenberg Government place more emphasis on environmental considerations and international solidarity than Bondevik?

In that case Minister of Petroleum and Energy Odd Roger Enoksen does not have to settle for promising CO2 purification of gas power plants. He must dare to limit the rate of recovery and the investment rate in Norwegian petroleum activities. Otherwise, Norway will only contribute to increasing climate change. Environment Minister Helen Bjørnøy has not shown any visible interest in environmental protection. Will she be able to push up the conifer protection so that it ends, within the narrow framework Sp has laid out in the government declaration? Will there be actions or toothless plans to save biological diversity? Is Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen interested in turning taxes so that pollution becomes more expensive and environmentally friendly behavior cheaper? The plan has been in the drawer since 1996. Does she dare to break free of sacred consumption growth and reduce resource consumption and environmental pressures? Will Finance Minister Halvorsen give Minister of Development Solheim more than a budget at the level of perils of oil-rich Norway's gross national income? Transport Minister Liv Signe Navarsete's challenge is to see more than bridge spans and endless tunnels in Western Norway. Significantly increased operating support for public transport in the cities is necessary, and rail transport must be prioritized over the aircraft in southern Norway.

None of this becomes a reality without Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg wanting it. His vision so far has been growth in prosperity for living Norwegians. He must want something else if Norway's sky-high energy consumption is to go down, not up. Stoltenberg is the one who can take the initiative for a fund for solar energy in developing countries – financed through Norway's incredible oil revenues.

If none of this happens, the change of government hardly matters.

Arild Hermstad, general manager The future in our hands

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