The left-wing opposition led by Labor Jonas Gahr Støre on Monday won legislative elections dominated by the fate of the country’s oil activities, according to projections released at the close of the polls. The five opposition parties are set to win 100 of the 169 seats in the Storting, Norway’s unicameral parliament, enough to oust conservative Erna Solberg’s right-wing coalition, these projections made from early votes show.
With 89 seats at the moment, the Labor Party of Støre, the likely next prime minister, is even on the way to securing an absolute majority with their favorite allies, the Center Party and the Socialist Left, without needing the other two forces of opposition, the environmentalists of MDG and the communists of Rødt. This should facilitate negotiations to form a coalition government, which still promise to be long and delicate. MDG, in particular, had conditioned its support on the immediate end of oil exploration in the country, the largest exporter of hydrocarbons in Western Europe, an ultimatum rejected by Jonas Gahr Støre.
How to get out of oil?
A 61-year-old millionaire who campaigned against social inequalities, the likely head of the next government is advocating – like his conservative opponents – a gentle and gradual exit from the oil economy. “The demand for oil is on a downward slope. It happens by itself, by the law of the market. We don’t need to decree it […] but to build bridges towards activities of the future, ”Labor chief energy officer Espen Barth Eide told AFP on Sunday.
The “red alert for humanity” launched in early August by the UN climate experts (IPCC) placed the issue of global warming at the heart of the electoral campaign and forced the kingdom to reflect on the fate of activities. oil companies that made him immensely rich. The report galvanized those on the left and, to a lesser extent, on the right, wanting to end oil. In addition to the immediate end of oil exploration, MDG, the most advanced training on this issue, calls for the cessation of exploitation by 2035 to limit global warming.
The petroleum sector accounts for 14% of the Norwegian gross domestic product, more than 40% of exports and 160,000 direct jobs. Black gold has also enabled the kingdom of 5.4 million inhabitants to amass the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world with nearly 12,000 billion crowns of assets (1,166 billion euros).
The negotiations promise to be difficult
A graduate of Sciences Po Paris and Minister of Jens Stoltenberg between 2005 and 2013, Jonas Gahr Støre will now have to engage in thorny negotiations with the Center Party, which mainly defends the interests of the rural world, and the Socialist Left, more concerned environmental issues. These allies, who once ruled together under Jens Stoltenberg, have often opposing positions, especially on the urgency to emerge from the oil age, and the centrists of Trygve Slagsvold Vedum have said during the campaign that they do not want to sit with the Left. socialist of Audun Lysbakken.
“I want a more equitable society with opportunities for all, that we strive to put everyone to work. This is the number one priority, ”Jonas Gahr Støre said on Monday, also calling for a“ just climate policy ”. “We will take all our time to talk with the other parties,” he said, a few minutes before the release of the projections.
Norway aims for “carbon neutrality” from 2030