September 7, 2023

Silje Lundberg, Oil Change International, 

New briefing reveals Norway’s electrification of Melkøya gas plant as the perfect storm of climate injustice

Oslo, Norway — On August 8th, Norway’s PM Jonas Gahr Støre gave the Norwegian Government’s green light for Equinor’s Snøhvit Future project, which will prolong gas production and the lifespan of the LNG facility on Melkøya, Norway. A new briefing from Oil Change International reveals how the plans to electrify the LNG facility encapsulate the perfect storm of climate injustice:

  • Climate bomb in the Arctic: Electrification locks in gas production in the Arctic, and prolongs the lifespan of the Melkøya liquid natural gas (LNG) plant for 20 years. The government’s own analysis estimates that burning the additional gas production will emit over 150 million tonnes of CO2. This dwarfs the touted emissions reductions of 850,000 tonnes per year from electrifying the LNG plant.
  • Another slap in the face for Sami rights: The Norwegian government has still not followed up on a Supreme Court judgment from 2021 that found a previous energy project breached Sami reindeer herders’ rights. Electrification of Melkøya gives the go-ahead for new power lines that once again pass through reindeer pasture territories. Such contempt for indigenous rights is the opposite of climate justice.

Silje Lundberg, North Sea Campaign Manager at Oil Change International, said: 

“The Norwegian government is trying to portray its plans as climate friendly, when in reality they’re the opposite. With this decision, the Norwegian Government will lock-in decades of continued gas production in the Arctic. The fact that the Government has green-lighted new power lines over Sámi lands, while the human rights violations against the Sámi people are ongoing, is not only absurd, it’s a disgrace.”  

“Our recommendations for the Norwegian Government are clear — stop the ongoing human rights violations against the Sámi people, terminate the electrification plans and revoke the concession to build the 420 kV power line over Sámi lands, and phase out gas production from Snøhvit and the LNG facility on Melkøya to align with climate goals.”