Connect with us

Global Affairs

‘Embarrassing’: Green Politician Blames Norway for Deadly Heat Wave in North America

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Europe

Get short URL

Despite being heavily reliant on green energy for domestic use, Norway remains one of the world’s leading exporters of energy resources, covering about 2 percent of global oil demand and 3 percent of natural gas demand. At present, there are about 90 fields in production on the Norwegian shelf.

Rasmus Hansson of Norway’s Green Party has raised eyebrows by holding his government directly responsible for the extreme heat wave that swept North America.

The unparallelled heat wave saw Canada’s national record jump from 45 degrees to 49.6 degrees Celsius in a matter of three days, with widespread wildfires bringing about destruction. As many as 170 wildfires were ravaging the province of British Columbia alone this weekend.

Residents of the Canadian town of Lytton were forced to evacuate at short notice when it was suddenly surrounded by fires. The authorities subsequently reported that 90 percent of the town disappeared in flames.

The heat also paralysed swaths of the United States unaccustomed to such weather, with temperatures well over 40 degrees. Authorities in both countries estimate that the heat wave claimed hundreds of lives.

“This is the global warming of our time: an ordinary Canadian town, Lytton in British Columbia, is on fire. [Prime Minister] Erna Solberg, [Petroleum Minister] Tina Bru and the parliamentary majority are directly responsible”, biologist and parliamentary candidate for the Greens Rasmus Hansson told the newspaper Dagbladet, adding that Lytton and other places affected by extreme weather could demand compensation from Norway.

Hansson labelled Norway “the world’s seventh largest exporter of carbon dioxide” and ventured that the current government is going “full throttle” by opening new oil fields, including the Breidablikk field in the North Sea.

The Greens, by contrast, seek a gradual phasing out of the petroleum branch, a staple of the Norwegian economy and a pillar of its well-being, by 2035.

Petroleum Minister Tina Bru, however, struck back against the allegations.

“These are well-known tones from the Greens. This is what they tend to do: whenever major natural disasters occur around the world, they try to blame us and hold us almost personally responsible. It falls, of course, on its own unreasonableness”, Bru told Dagbladeet. “I simply think that it is quite embarrassing to come up with such attacks”.

Bru emphasised that the Norwegian government’s policy is well in line with the goals set by the Paris Agreement and underscored that the country’s greenhouse emissions have steadily decreased in recent years, reaching 49.3 million tonnes, down from 51.2 million tonnes in 1990, but still somewhat higher than the climate target of 48.6 million tonnes.

The government aims to cut the emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030 and at least 90 percent by 2050. According to Bru, Norway is well on its way.

“We have delivered a climate plan, and we are also the first western country to strengthen our climate goal under the Paris Agreement. So we have a good climate policy, and it is also necessary, precisely because of what we see in Canada. But neither I, Erna Solberg nor the government is personally responsible for what is happening now”, Bru underscored.

While heavily relying on green energy for domestic use, Norway is one of the world’s leaders in exports of energy resources, covering about 2 percent of global oil demand and 3 percent of natural gas demand. At present, there are about 90 fields in production on the Norwegian shelf.



Source link

Global Affairs

Norway killings ‘appeared to be’ Islamist ‘terrorism’

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Wednesday’s murders “appeared … to be an act of terrorism” Norway’s ‘PST’ intelligence service said Thursday, noting that the killer, Danish national Espen Andersen, had been a “known” threat. Andersen was a Muslim convert and extremist, but might also have had psychiatric problems, Norwegian police said. Norway’s terrorism-threat level was “moderate”, the PST added, while monitoring the risk of “follow-up actions, revenge actions” by either “extreme Islamists” or “right-wing extremists”.

Source link

Continue Reading

Global Affairs

UN quizzed over role in prison-like island camp for Rohingya refugees | Global development

Voice Of EU

Published

on

The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) is facing questions over whether it is helping to detain Rohingya refugees in prison-like conditions by providing services on a controversial island camp.

Over the past year, Bangladesh has relocated almost 20,000 refugees to Bhasan Char, an island formed of silt deposits in the Bay of Bengal thought to be vulnerable to cyclones, which the refugees are unable to leave.

About 700 refugees have reportedly attempted to flee the island but Bangladesh hopes that the UNHCR’s cooperation will ensure better services for the refugees and is now planning to increase the island’s population by 80,000 over the next three months.

Refugees International, a global advocacy organisation, said there were “serious questions” about whether it was safe and possible to move such numbers to the island from the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps, which are the world’s largest, hosting about 890,000 refugees.

“Most concerning is whether any relocations of Rohingya refugees to the island will be truly voluntary, evidenced by the fact that hundreds of refugees relocated there have already tried to flee,” said Daniel Sullivan, Refugees International’s senior advocate for human rights.

“As Refugees International has warned in the past, failure to properly assess conditions and inform refugees about the move will result in policies more akin to detention than refuge.”

The Geneva-based Global Detention Project tweeted: “In signing a new memorandum of understanding with the Bangladesh government, is the UNHCR assisting in the detention of Rohingya refugees on Bhasan Char island? Are refugees free to move on and off the island? Are they moving there truly voluntarily?”

Rohingya prepare to sail to Bhasan Char
Rohingya prepare to sail to Bhasan Char. Human rights groups have reported that refugees have been misled about conditions on the island. Photograph: Rajib Raihan/AP

Human Rights Watch reported in June that the government had misled refugees about conditions on the island and that some had been relocated without informed consent. It also reported that, despite promises from the government of good living conditions, they did not have access to work or education and were unable to leave.

In May, during a visit by senior UNHCR officials to inspect the island, thousands of refugees defied orders to remain in their shelters to protest at the living conditions. The UNHCR later said it was “deeply concerned” that refugees were injured during the protest.

A Rohingya teacher living in the Cox’s Bazar camps said they opposed the UNHCR’s cooperation with the government because they did not believe the island was fit to live on.

“There is not any freedom for the Rohingya people in Bhasan Char. People who have gone there thought life would be comfortable for them, as the government said they would be provided with everything they need,” said the teacher, who did not want to be named for fear of repercussions. “There is a lady in Bhasan Char – she sometimes talks with her mother and I heard from her mother that people in Bhasan Char are living as if in prison there.

“At least the government could consider free movement for the people who are in Bhasan Char, so they could travel to see their relatives.”

A leaked copy of the agreement offers no guarantee that refugees will be able to move freely to the mainland, Reuters reported on Friday.

Bangladesh has justified relocating refugees to the island by arguing that conditions are better than the overcrowded camps in Cox’s Bazar, which have witnessed devastating floods and fires this year.

Concrete houses at the Bhasan Char refugee camp in Bangladesh
Concrete houses at the Bhasan Char camp. The UN has said its services will help the refugees lead ‘decent lives on the island’. Photograph: Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters

The UN said, after the agreement with the government was announced last weekend, that its presence on Bhasan Char would “help support the refugees to lead decent lives on the island” by ensuring protection, education, healthcare and livelihoods.

Former UNHCR official Jeff Crisp questioned why the agreement between Bangladesh and UNHCR had not been published and whether it failed to ensure freedom of movement for the refugees, which could amount to it becoming a prison island.

He also questioned what the long-term plan was for the island, as little progress had been made towards ensuring the Rohingya can return safely to Myanmar, which several generations of refugees have fled after repeated military operations.

“I don’t know what strategy the Bangladeshi government is working on. What is the endgame? Do they assume people can live happily on Bhasan Char?” said Crisp. “They’re talking about 80,000 moving in the next three months. Are that number of people going to volunteer to go and, if they do, can you move that many people and give proper attention to settling them properly?”



Source link

Continue Reading

Global Affairs

China’s Xi to snub UK climate summit

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Chinese prime minister Xi Jinping will not personally attend the ‘COP26’ climate summit in Scotland, UK prime minister Boris Johnson has been informed, British newspaper The Times reported Thursday. The no-show might mean China would not submit a ‘nationally defined contribution’ (NDC) on CO2-cuts either, British officials feared. Just half of the world’s ‘G20’ wealthiest countries have filed NDCs so far, amid a supply crunch in oil and gas markets.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!