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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday 

Climate change presents a challenge for Norway's mountains, the PM under pressure due to high energy prices and a date set for a possible SAS strike, plus other news on Wednesday. 

Pictured is the Deichman Bjørvika library in Oslo.
Find out what is going on in Norway on Wednesday with The Local's short roundup of important news. Pictured is the Deichman Bjørvika in Oslo. Photo by Nan Wisanmongkol on Unsplash

Prime Minister under energy price pressure

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre is under increasing pressure related to sky-rocketing energy prices.

On Tuesday evening, he met with Labour mayors to discuss high energy prices. Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland also attended talks. 

Talks came after the Labour mayors in Kristiansand and Stavanger criticised the PM and demanded new measures to deal with rising electricity prices

Next Monday, the Storting’s presidency will meet to decide whether Norway’s parliament should be urgently recalled to tackle energy prices. 

The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), the PM’s biggest ally outside of the government, have also said that high prices need to be addressed. 

The government has had a subsidy scheme in place since last year that covers 90 percent of the portion of the energy bill where the electricity price was above 70 øre per kWh. The subsidy scheme has been raised from 55 percent and 80 percent of the bill following pressure. 

The PM has ruled out introducing a maximum price, however, a measure which the Conservative Party has also warned against

READ ALSO: Norway’s Prime Minister warns that high energy prices could continue for years

Climate change is creating challenges for hiking Norway’s mountains

Unpredictable weather and a changing climate are making it difficult to keep Norway’s mountains fit for hiking, the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) has said. 

“In several places, we see that the need for repairing bridges in the mountains, clearing wet paths, overgrowth and moving avalanche-prone routes is increasing,” Trygve Sunde Kolderup, head of nature management and sustainability, told agricultural paper Nationen

Kolderup said the development and maintenance of paths, hiking routes and trekking destinations was currently very rarely geared toward being climate adaptable. 

“We must quickly change that. Climate adaptation must become as important for outdoor life’s infrastructure as it is for urban development, transport and major development projects,” he said. 

Date set for possible SAS strike resumption

If SAS pilots vote down an agreement which ended a 15-day strike last month, more strike action could begin from August 11th, according to the consumer news site Din Side

The proposed collective bargaining agreement is out for a preliminary vote with a deadline of August 5th. The result of the vote will be announced on August 6th. 

PM to attend Norway Cup

Jonas Gahr Støre will attend the Norway Cup today and play in a celebrity charity match at midday. 

Aside from taking to the pitch, the PM will also meet a youth football team from Ukraine. The Norway Cup is one of the biggest youth football tournaments in the world. This year’s event is the first time the tournament has been held since 2019. 

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Today in Norway: A roundup of the news on Monday

Additional crossings at the Russian border, municipalities encouraged to build wind turbines and other news in Norway on Monday.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the news on Monday

Two-hour queue at Norwegian border 

The queue of cars waiting to enter Norway at its northern border with Russia grew significantly on Sunday, news wire NTB reports.

While there are no signs that Russia has restricted its citizens from leaving for Norway, Finland closed its border to tourists with Russian visas on Friday.

A total number of 295 people entered Norway from Russia at the Storskog border crossing in northern county Finnmark, according to police figures reported by NTB. 174 crossed in the opposite direction.

Norway said on Friday it was considering closing its border to Russians with Schengen visas.

“We will close the border quickly if necessary, and changes can come at short notice,” Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl said.

READ ALSO: Norway to boost security along border with Russia

Municipalities could reconsider wind turbine plans

Municipalities that have previously decided against installing wind turbines could reverse their stance if a government proposal to incentivise the turbines is adopted, NTB writes.

The government wants to reward municipalities for on-land wind turbines more than is currently the case.

“Norway will need more energy in the coming years. That must come from hydropower in the short term and wind on land. If municipalities are be given more in return for allowing wind power plants, this will be a completely different discussion than we have had up to now,” the elected spokesperson for the Lindesnes municipality, Even Tronstad Sagebakken, told newspaper Fædrelandsvennen.

Nature organisation wants ban on rubber underlay at playgrounds

Nature advocacy group Friends of the Earth Norway (Naturvernforbundet) says playgrounds should be built without the soft rubber underlays and other plastic elements because of the amount of small plastic pieces that escape from them into the environment.

“A good number of plastic playgrounds are based on reprocessed car tyres which contain harmful substances for the environment. Others aren’t made from tyres but still contain plastic substances and completely unneccessarry amounts of plastic that can spread in nature,” the organisation’s leader Truls Gulowsen told broadcaster NRK.

Norway to send howitzers to Ukraine

Norway, along with Germany and Denmark, will supply Ukraine with 16 armoured howitzer artillery systems from next year, Berlin said yesterday. Kyiv has sought heavier weapons to boost its fightback against Russia.

The weapons will be produced in Slovakia, with delivery to Ukraine to begin in 2023.

The three countries agreed to jointly finance the procurement of the Slovakian Zuzana-2 guns at a cost of 92 million euros, the defence ministry in Berlin said.

You can read more on this story here.