ICYMI: Foreign Policy Magazine: Rich Countries’ Climate Policies Are Colonialism in Green
Norway’s mandates of green energy abroad while being Europe’s 2nd largest natural gas supplier highlights their hypocrisy.
Berkeley, Calif. — Yesterday, Foreign Policy published a scathing essay by Breakthrough Institute’s Director for Energy and Development Dr. Vijaya Ramachandran explaining why rich nations’ demands for green energy from developing countries are so hypocritical — stifling energy development while furthering reliance on external energy providers like Norway — the second-largest supplier of natural gas to Europe.
Dr. Vijaya Ramachandran is available for comment or interview
As winter approaches and Europe’s energy crisis deepens, Norway has promised to increase its natural gas exports by 2 billion cubic meters. This sharply contrasts with their lobbying efforts towards the World Bank to stop all financing of natural gas projects in Africa and elsewhere as soon as 2025 — and until then only in “exceptional circumstances.” Norway and other Baltic countries have suggested energy investment in developing countries should be limited to green technologies like green hydrogen and smart micro-grid networks.
“The idea that some of the poorest people on Earth will be using green hydrogen — possibly the most complex and expensive energy technology that exists — and building out “smart micro-grid networks” in just a few years at anywhere near the scale required is absurd,” writes Dr. Ramachandran.
Sub-saharan Africa has large offshore gas fields that could make countries in this region — some of the poorest in the world — energy self-sufficient. A ban on natural gas projects would put a stop to energy infrastructure development necessary “to raise living standards — including electricity for homes, schools, and factories; industrial heat for producing cement and steel; the carbon dioxide that is an essential component of synthetic fertilizer; and liquefied gas for transportation and cooking fuel.”
Norway understands this and supports natural gas as a backstop to wind and solar, along with other countries lobbying the World Bank. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store even argued that future oil and gas drilling will be critical to a transition to renewable energy.
In short, Norway has increased its natural gas exports, is actively lobbying the World Bank not to support natural gas projects in developing countries, and openly acknowledges that oil and gas drilling will be needed to fill in the gaps during the renewable energy transition.
“Let’s call a spade a spade: Norway is advancing the green version of colonialism,” writes Dr. Ramachandran.
It is antithetical to say you support energy development abroad — but only when it is green — while admitting green energy cannot be the only source. Norway can’t have its cake and eat it too, not when it comes to energy development.