Correspondent in Berlin
“We have listened to the Norwegians, we have waited and we have worked hard until we can finally say that we have done it!” With these triumphant words he celebrated last night the Jonas Gahr Store worker his electoral victory. With 55% of the votes, compared to just 40% obtained by the prime minister’s center-right bloc Erna Solberg, who ruled in the Nordic country since 2013, seizes at least 100 seats out of a total of 169 that make up the Storting. It will not even need the support of the other two opposition forces, the MDG environmentalists and the Red Party communists (Rodt).
Solberg, immediately accepted defeat, with a setback of his party of almost five percentage points. During his eight-year tenure, he has expanded oil exploration and reduced taxes. The Labor Party has however campaigned to steer Norway in the opposite direction. His promises include support for new green industries, such as wind power, so-called blue hydrogen and the capture and storage under the ocean of carbon dioxide.
Store represents a moderate choice of climate protection, compared to forces like the MDG, which calls for an immediate halt to all oil exploration and an end to oil exploitation no later than 2035. Like the Conservatives, the Labor Party rules out giving up oil profits and advocates for a gradual withdrawal, while gradually being replaced by other sources of income.
The oil sector, which has been at the center of the electoral campaign, represents 14% of the Norwegian Gross Domestic Product, more than 40% of all its exports and supports some 160,000 direct jobs. “Our approach is based on the fact that the demand for oil is already in decline,” explained the party’s official, Espen Barth Eide, “that is something that is happening by itself, by the law of the market, so We do not consider it necessary to legislate it but to build bridges towards future activities.