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Environmental organizations demand that Støre resign as head of the Marine Panel

DEMAND: Several environmental organizations demand Jonas Gahr Støre's resignation as head of the Marine Panel if Norway does not reverse the extraction of seabed minerals.

More than 30 organizations from all over the world are demanding that Jonas Gahr Støre resign as head of the Marine Panel if Norway does not turn around in the issue of mineral extraction on the seabed.

WWF World Nature Fund, Nature and Youth and Greenpeace is among the organizations that are now demanding that Støre step down as the panel’s leader.

– If Norway does not turn things around and open its waters to the destructive industry, Støre will have to accept the consequences and give up the place, says general secretary Karoline Andaur of the WWF World Wildlife Fund.

Norway’s desire to open up mineral extraction on the seabed has met with strong opposition from a number of marine scientists, in addition to the aforementioned environmental organisations.

– Rather than show leadership in the work to take care of the oceans, Norway chooses to ignore the clear professional warnings about the consequences of mining on the seabed, says expert advisor for the seabed Haldis Tjeldflaat Helle in Greenpeace.

Large mineral resources

The government said this summer that it wants to open up the search for and extract seabed minerals on the Norwegian continental shelf.

– When we submit a notification to the Storting about opening up the extraction of seabed minerals, it is to see and discover whether extraction can take place profitably, sustainably and responsibly, said Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland. Today’s business when the proposal was presented on 20 June.

Norwegian Petroleum Directorate believes there are large mineral resources on the Norwegian continental shelf, which could mean large revenues for Norway. The area the government wants to open is 281,200 square kilometers in the Greenland Sea and the Barents Sea.

Large protests

Environmental organizations believe that this intervention in nature is in direct conflict with Norway’s commitment in the Ocean Panel to manage the ocean ” 100 percent sustainable ». The panel was established in 2018 and consists of heads of government from 14 countries. Støre took over from Erna Solberg as manager in 2021.

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister’s office, the environmental movement points out, among other things, that the intervention could risk exterminating species we do not know exist, and endanger the world’s fish stocks.

The Norwegian Environment Agency and the Marine Research Institute have also criticized the impact assessment that forms the basis of the opening report.

“The impact assessment shows significant knowledge gaps about nature, technology and environmental effects. Furthermore, it does not contain assessments of whether, possibly where and how, it is possible to conduct mineral operations in a responsible and environmentally sustainable manner,” wrote the Norwegian Environment Agency in January.

Demonstrations have been announced outside the Storting on Monday, in addition to outside Norwegian embassies in 19 countries around the world.


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