This report from the Oil and Gas Transitions initiative explores the status of just oil and gas transitions in Norway.
As the recent Production Gap Report 2021 attests, there is growing incompatibility between the global emissions reductions targets capable of stabilising dangerous climate change and the extraction of fossil fuels. In this context, the Norwegian political and business debate is visibly changing. Norway’s 2021 general election campaign, hailed as the first “climate vote” in Europe, galvanised the public by making climate pledges and the future of oil and gas key topics for discussion, and forcing all political parties and interest groups to take a stance. However, it is questionable whether the main goal should be to manage the decline of oil and gas or climate-related economic risks. If the future beyond 2050 is going to be net-zero, then relying on the fossil fuel sector as a pillar of Norway’s economy and society is unsustainable in the long run and carries significant risks that Norwegian decision makers need to mitigate.
This report analyses the current situation in the O&G sector using up-to-date statistics and reports to map the landscape and key stakeholders and to provide background on the macroeconomic and socio-political issues at stake. Drawing on the analysis of party programmes, media coverage and interviews, we also lay out the current state of the political debate on the O&G transition, highlighting the main division lines among stakeholders that must engage in constructive dialogue to solve this complex political problem. It also maps the position of industry associations and trade unions, the latter being key players in the Norwegian context.