Norway has one of the greenest energy profiles in the world with hydro energy powering many towns and industries.
Scotland prides itself on having the most ambitious climate change targets. But are both these oil producing North Sea neighbours facing up to the real speed of climate change?
Temperatures in the high north are increasing much faster than the rest of the globe. Permafrost is thawing. Sea ice is disappearing, both summer and winter. Distributions and sizes of northern fish stocks are changing. Melting of Arctic glaciers and the Greenland ice cap are causing sea level to rise.
Across the world, the higher concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is changing the Earth’s climate, increasing surface temperatures and shifting the distribution and intensity of rainfall at a rate unprecedented in human history. Impacts of climate change on water and food security, and human health, will be dramatic, and for some regions beyond the adaptation limits of society.
But beside these threats, sit commercial opportunities.
Less sea ice makes commercial activities more attractive in the high north. This adds extra stress to an already vulnerable Arctic ecosystem.
Is exploitation of oil and gas in harmony with green growth and in line with the Paris agreement?
Will deep sea mining become a safe industrial adventure or an environmental catastrophe?
Who will benefit from changes in fish stocks? When will the northern transport routes become commercially attractive? Should tourism be limited?
Tore Furevik is Professor in physical oceanography at the University of Bergen’s Geophysical Institute. His bio is here.