Norway has a dilemma. The nation’s gotten rich off offshore oil — the oil fund surpassed $1 trillion in value in September, and the petroleum industry accounts for 22% of Norwegian GDP. Exploration and development of offshore oil is pushing further and further North into the Arctic Barents Sea as well as into the sensitive ecological and tourist area of Lofoten, but the Norwegian people are pushing back. A newspaper survey a few weeks ago found that for the first time, more Norwegians were in favor of curtailing petroleum industry activities than not – 44% in favor, 42% against (15% uncertain). Additionally, there is a substantial gender split:
“Among those in favour of protection of the environment, 52 per cent are women, and 36 per cent men, while the percentage for those against the restriction of the oil industry 54 per cent are men and 29 per cent women.”
Norway does well by women overall – ranking 3rd most gender equal last year – and recent elections have just put over 40% of the parliamentary seats in women’s hands.
It will be interesting to see what impact this can have.
Image credit: By Svein-Magne Tunli – tunliweb.no (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons