[@ccess] Sustainable politics in Norway (energy)
- Kjell Dahle has just sent this note which I think is close enough to the
interests and competence of a number of you to be of interest - and perhaps
you may have some feedback for him as well.
This plus tomorrow's Sustainable Transport Referendum in Switzerland begin
to suggest that we might do well to consider crating a Sustainable Politics
Forum somewhere under The Commons.
From: kjell.dahle@... (Kjell Dahle)
To: wfsf-l@..., email@example.com
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 15:40:02 +0100
Dear colleagues and friends,
As some of you know, I have been the secretary general of the Centre party
(one of the three coalition partners in the present Norwegian minority
government) the last year, thus being one of the few futurists directly
involved in practical politics.
As some of you might know, this government has now just resigned as the
result of an environmental dispute over whether to allow gas-fired power
plants in Norway.
The government position was to postpone gas-fired power plants until new
technology makes it possible to decimate carbon dioxide emissions. (The
proposed plants would produce about as much pollution as 1/3 of the
Norwegian cars! )
What happened, was the following:
1) National pollution authorities turned down the application from a
state-owned (sic!) company called "Environmental Power" (sic!) to build
gas-fired power plants based on present, polluting technology.
2) Our government (which controlled only 25% of the seats in parliament)
supported the decision of the pollution authorities.
3) A majority in Parliament (Labour and the right wing parties) wanted to
instruct the government to reverse this decision.
4) The government presented a report from the experts of the Ministry of
Justice, claiming that it would be against the pollution law if
politicians reversed the decision of the pollution authorities.
5) The opposition parties then wanted to change the law, trying to
instruct the government to initiate an amendment of the pollution law.
6) The government made it clear that it would only initiate amendments
that made the law more environmental-friendly.
7) Labour and the Conservatives said they would vote against such a
proposal from the government.
8) The prime minister said that his government would rather resign than
initiate liberalizing amendments in the pollution law.
9) The government lost the parliamentary vote of confidence and resigned.
This is the first time in history that a Norwegian government resigns as a
result of losing an environmental dispute. Now my question is:
Do any of you know other cases anywhere in the world where governments
have resigned after having had the choice between resignation and
implementation of decisions they consider as harmful to the environment ?
(Independent of whether they have been voted down in Parliament or through