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Why Norway is upping gas production despite the UN’s climate warnings

Norway has moved to maximise gas production this year. Meanwhile, the UN's Secretary-General said Monday that countries increasing their fossil fuel output were 'dangerous radicals'.

Oil rig in Norwegian waters.
Norway has taken several steps to maximise output of gas this year. Meanwhile the UN general-secretary has criticised countries who are upping fossil fuel output. Pictured is an oil rig. Photo by Jan-Rune Smenes Reite: https://www.pexels.com/photo/oil-platfrom-rig-in-the-middle-of-the-ocean-3207536/

At an unveiling of a new global climate change report, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that countries with intentions of increasing their output of fossil fuels were ‘dangerous radicals’.

Guterres’s comments came after the report said that the switch to green energy had to happen three times faster than it currently was.

“Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous and radical. But the dangerous radicals are the countries who increase the production of fossil fuels,” Guterres said at a press conference on Monday night.

READ ALSO: How do Norway’s CO2 emissions compare to other countries?

While Guterres’s criticism wasn’t levelled at any particular country, Norway, western Europe’s largest producer of oil and gas, has moved to increase its fossil fuel output this year. 

Last week, the Norwegian Prime Minister told broadcaster TV2 that the country was doing its all to produce as much oil and gas as possible.

“We are delivering as much as we can,” he told the broadcaster.

The country will up its output by maximising its gas production throughout the summer, which is usually when companies lower output due to low demand to carry out maintenance on their offshore platforms.

One of the reasons that Norway has moved to increase output is that the EU is now trying to reduce its dependence on Russian gas following the invasion of Ukraine.

Prior to the invasion, Norway supplied between 20 and 25 percent of the EU’s and Britain’s gas needs, while Russia provided 45 to 50 percent.

Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Norway to supply more energy to the EU and Ukraine.

“You can make a decisive contribution to the energy security of Europe by providing the necessary resources, both for the countries of the European Union and for Ukraine,” he said in an address to Norway’s parliament last week.

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