Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg receives the box with 2,000 signed Christmas cards against Arctic oil drilling before she entered the Arctic Frontiers conference at the University of Tromsø.(Photo: Thomas Nilsen)
TROMSØ: Norwegian PM Erna Solberg received a box with 2,000 signatures against Arctic oil drilling Tuesday morning, but could assure the environmentalists that oil drilling will be an important part of the future.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg was met by the ecologists from Nature and Youth on the doorsteps to the Arctic Frontiers conference where she gave a speech about Norway’s increasing activities in the north.
“Oil will be a part of the future in the north,” said a smiling Erna Solberg as she got the box with 2,000 signed Christmas cards encouraging her to halt all plans for drilling in the Arctic.
Ingrid Skjoldvær is Deputy Leader of Nature and Youth and says to BarentsObserver that it was easy to collect the signatures.
“We got 2,000 in just one day in December. It shows that we are many who want to preserve the rich and unique Arctic waters. It shows that we are many who are unwilling to sacrifice values such as cod, bird cliffs or other resources we have in the Arctic in favor of short-term profits and oil spills.”
Erna Solberg chose to talk less about oil-drilling and more about human resources in her speech to the fully packed auditorium at the University of Tromsø.
“This is a welcome shift of focus. There have been many conferences on the natural resources of the Arctic: oil and gas, marine resources, minerals. But we must not forget that the most important resource is the people who inhabit the Arctic and the knowledge and skills they possess,” Erna Solberg said and continued:
“Politics, even so-called “high politics”, is ultimately about improving people’s living conditions and ensuring their safety and security.”
Members of Nature and Youth protested Arctic oil drilling outside the entrance to the University in Tromsø where Norwegian PM Erna Solberg gave a speech at the Arctic Frontiers conference.