August 28, 2017
Dear Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Mr. Jonas Gahr Støre,
The global climate crisis is one of the most urgent challenges facing humanity. The world’s most vulnerable are confronting the devastating consequences of our dangerous addiction to oil, coal, and gas every day: from floods and fires, to droughts and famines, to conflicts and migrations.
Now is the time for bolder climate leadership. We have been encouraged by the unwavering support for the Paris Climate Agreement in the face of President Trump’s reprehensible withdrawal. But the critical disconnect between where we are and what needs to be done for a safer climate future remains alarming. While there seems to be an understanding that the fossil fuel era must end, no major producers appear prepared to begin that transition in line with the scale and urgency science demands.
This must change. We need unprecedented action, and we need it from countries that are deeply concerned and have the means to act. We need it from Norway.
As Nobel Peace Laureates, we have a special connection to the country of Norway. Alfred Nobel felt strongly that Norwegians embodied an understanding of peace, equity, and justice that uniquely qualified them to judge the prize. We appeal to those values now.
Equity and justice in the face of the climate crisis requires nations like Norway to prove the possibility of the end of a fossil-fuel based economy. Recent analysis confirms that there is no room in our shared atmosphere for new extraction of oil, coal, and gas. And yet Norway continues to plan for new production, with proposed expansions that contain 150% more greenhouse gas emissions than already committed through existing projects.
We urge you, as candidates for Prime Minister, to champion a vision for Norway that looks beyond oil and gas to a future our children and grandchildren can be proud of. We call on the elected Norwegian government to:
- Lead by issuing no further leases or permits for new oil and gas extraction projects or related transportation infrastructure.
- Set a global precedent by becoming the first producer to announce a managed decline of existing production in line with climate safe limits, with a just and equitable transition that protects workers, communities, and economies.
- Invest billions of Norway’s trillion dollar sovereign wealth fund into the safe, clean, and renewable energy of the 21st century and move away from fossil fuels.
- Permanently protect the fragile arctic oceans in the Barents Sea, as well as areas off of the coast of Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja, from fossil fuel extraction.
This is a pivotal moment for the country and we believe strongly that it is the urgent responsibility and moral obligation of wealthy fossil fuel producers to forge the path forward.
The world is already moving faster than expected towards safe, clean, and renewable energy. These are the energy sources that can and must be the solution to energy access and demand. New fossil fuel production is a dangerous distraction that can only serve to undermine the urgency of the transition and continue to perpetuate the tragic impacts of resource extraction and climate change.
It is easy to seek cover behind countries that are larger emitters, bigger producers, or egregious laggards, but it is not right. Leadership in this century will be characterized by those who redefine themselves in a clean energy economy and who cease to profit from perpetuating the climate crisis. We believe Norway can be this leader.
Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Laureate (2003) — Iran
Tawakkol Karman, Nobel Peace Laureate (2011) — Yemen
Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate (1976) — Northern Ireland
Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Nobel Peace Laureate (1992) — Guatemala
Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate (1997) — USA