North Sea oil and gas has helped make Norway one of the wealthiest countries in the worldImage: Gwladys Fouche/REUTERS
Norwegian voters weigh future with less oil wealth
September 12, 2021
Norway's two-day election began Sunday, with many voters concerned about how the oil-rich nation can give up its addiction to fossil fuels. For some, being the world's fastest adopter of electric vehicles isn't enough.
Norwegians went to the polls on Sunday for the first of two days of voting in a parliamentary election that has put the future of the fossil fuel sector center stage.
The official election day is Monday, but voting booths were opened early in the capital Oslo and several other cities.
Opinion polls show the opposition Labor party on course to replace the Conservative-led coalition of Prime Minister Erna Solberg, though the center-left party would need support from at least two others to secure a majority.
Labor leader Jonas Gahr Stoere has pledged to cut the country's CO2 emissions in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement. But the party has rejected calls to severely curtail oil and gas drilling, a major source of wealth and jobs.
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Poll lead for party focusing on inequality
Stoere's campaign has focused on his promise to address inequality by offering tax relief for low- and middle-income families and hiking rates for the rich.
He is counting on Labor, the Center Party, and the Socialist Left to collectively win a majority that will allow a comeback for the three-party coalition that ran Norway between 2005 and 2013.
But ahead of the vote, polls showed that a growing minority of seats in parliament could go to parties and lawmakers that want a stronger commitment to cleaner energy.