Norwegian prime minister designate: center-left government will focus on climate
The Norwegian Prime Minister-designate on Wednesday presented his proposal for a center-left bipartisan minority government that pledges to pursue “a fair climate policy that cuts emissions and creates jobs”.
Jonas Gahr Stoere, leader of the center-left Norwegian Labor Party, has unveiled his plans for a new cabinet to take office this week after the left-wing Norwegian bloc won last month’s parliamentary elections.
Gahr Stoere, 61, who was officially asked by King Harald V to form a government on Tuesday, is set to become prime minister of a government that includes the Eurosceptic Center Party.
He will succeed Conservative Party Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Thursday, who was ousted in the September 13 election after two four-year terms.
Gahr Stoere and Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, the leader of the Center Party which is Norway‘s third largest party, unveiled an 83-page political platform for 2021-2025 where climate and environment are among the key areas.
âThe climate crisis is the greatest challenge of our time,â the Labor Party said. âThe climate and nature must be a framework around any policy. Norway’s ambitious climate goals commit all government and all parts of society.
The ministerial portfolio choices are due to be made public on Thursday, but Slagsvold Vedum is widely expected to become Norway’s next finance minister.
In the September vote, the Labor Party and its two left allies – the Socialist Left and the Center Party – won 100 seats out of the 169 seats in the Stortinget assembly, while the center-right government of Erna Solberg got 68. The last seat was taken by a protest party focused on health in northern Norway, Pasientfokus.
The Labor Party – Norway’s largest party outside the European Union – won the election with 26.3% of the vote while the Center Party finished third with 20.4%.
Gahr Stoere wanted to form a majority government with the three left parties, but failed to do so after talks broke down also involving the socialist left due to disagreements over climate policy, especially the Norwegian oil industry, and Taxation.
The petroleum industry is the largest industry in the Scandinavian nation and is responsible for over 40% of exports and directly employs over 5% of the workforce. Oil and gas from the North Sea have helped make Norway one of the richest countries in the world.
The new center-left cabinet would continue its oil exploration efforts and “permits will continue to be granted to search for oil and gas in new areas,” the government program said.
Most of the country’s oil and gas still comes from mature areas of the North Sea, but most of the untapped reserves lie in the Barents Sea, above the Arctic Circle – a red line for conservationists.
On the other hand, Norwegians are among the most climate-conscious consumers in the world, with most new car purchases now being electric.
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