'Norway's position is especially absurd'

Ajay K Jha works with the Centre for Community Economics (CECOEDECON) on the intersections of rights, development and sustainability. Photo: Private.

'Norway's position is especially absurd'

Ajay K Jha, based in New Delhi India, works with the Centre for Community Economics (CECOEDECON) on the intersections of rights, development and sustainability. Read our interview with Ajay here!

In this series, activists from the Global South share their perspectives on Norway and rich countries’ role in sustainable development, and how civil society from around the world can stand together in the fight for a just and sustainable planet.

What has Norway and other wealthy countries’ role been in the past 30 years? Do they have a greater responsibility to contribute to a just global future than other countries?

Norway and other rich countries have not been able to show climate leadership, have continued with their emission rich lifestyles and contributed too little towards global solidarity. Collectively they will be occupying big environmental space, so that global south will have no development space.

Especially, Norway's position is especially absurd. They are producing too much oil, even though they don't need it. The Norwegian oil companies made a big bounty in a constrained supply world (due to the Russia-Ukraine war). They are even expanding explorations in the Arctic. At the same time, when more than 60% of the LMICs are facing severe sovereign debt crisis, Norway is reducing its ODA.

What can and should Norway and other countries in the global North do to ensure global justice, including climate and environmental justice, in the next 30 years?

Climate stabilisation and sustainable development cannot be achieved with crumbs falling from rich men's table. Norway and other rich countries should reduce their emissions, reduce their material footprint significantly and should have a plan to phase out fossil fuel production. They should at least commit that some parts of profits from the FF (Future Generation Fund?) will go to address loss and damage, which hurts the poorest the worst. They should come up with a clear road map to reduce their environmental and material footprint.

What can and should we as Norwegian civil society do to contribute to the needed changes for the future?

It’s sad that there is no strong campaign in society to forgo fossil fuel extraction and profits. It speaks of splits in the consciousness of Norwegian society and politics. The NGOs/CSOs should aim to build up political pressure on the government to identify their role, contribute based on their fair share and take bold political decisions in the interest of the global community.

What can and should be done to ensure a more just and sustainable planet?

What we need to make this world sustainable and inclusive is political will and international cooperation. No country or region can become sustainable alone unless all countries/region achieve it. International cooperation and solidarity are critical in this context. The high-income countries will have to lead the way!