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Norway's Arctic oil plans 'a disgrace': Knausgård

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Norway's Arctic oil plans 'a disgrace': Knausgård
Karl Ove Knausgård at Norwegian Festival of Literature in Lillehammer in 2012. Photo: Geir Olsen / NTB scanpix
21:56 CEST+02:00
Norwegian literary star Karl Ove Knausgård has called Norway “a fucking disgrace” for its plans to tender out exploration blocks in as yet untouched parts of the Arctic Barents sea, in an interview with the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
In the interview,  he writer attacked the “shortsightedness and the stupidity”  of the plan, brought in by the country’s right-wing coalition.
 
“The Arctic is one of the few places left on the planet that still is unexploited, it’s a very sensitive area, and I never believed that my government actually would do such a thing,” he said. “We need to make them stop, and we still can do that.” 
 
“Norway is one of the richest countries in the world – it’s all about greed, and it’s a fucking disgrace.”
 
At the end of last month, Knausgård was one of 200 leading Norwegian cultural figures to sign a petition calling on the government to cancel its 23rd oil licensing round, which extends the area open to oil exploration 40 miles to the north, bringing it closer to the edge of the Arctic sea ice. 
 
“By opening up new areas of the sea in the Arctic to oil prospecting,” letter read, “we will be actively promoting the fossil-fuel driven race towards an unliveable planet.” 
 
Other world-famous Norwegian writers to put their names to the letter included Jostein Gaarder, author of Sophie’s World, and Åsne Seierstad, author of the Bookseller of Kabul. 
 
The group has threatened to take the government to court to stop the licensing round if it is not cancelled voluntarily, arguing it violates "the right to a liveable climate", which is enshrined in Norway's constitution. 
 
Knausgård has just returned from a book tour to the US to promote the English version of the sixth and final instalment of his Proustian masterpiece My Struggle, which has been celebrated around the world.  
 
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