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Dozens of Activists Including Thunberg, Block Norway’s Energy Ministry

Norway witness protests against wind turbines

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Hrishita Chatterjee
Hrishita Chatterjee
Covering culture and trending topics

NORWAY: Dozens of activists and environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg have blocked entrances to Norway’s energy ministry, demonstrating against wind turbines that are constructed on land that is used by the indigenous Sami reindeer herders.

The transition to green energy as per the vocal advocate for ending the world’s reliance on carbon-based power, cannot come in the way of ensuring Indigenous rights.

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Greta Thunberg reported while sitting outside the ministry’s main entrance with other demonstrators on Monday that “climate conservation and climate action must coexist with indigenous rights and human rights.” She added, “At the expense of other people, that cannot happen. If so, climate justice is not being served.”

Two wind farms built in central Norway that violated Sami rights under international conventions were ruled illegal by Norway’s Supreme Court in 2021.

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However, after 16 months, the turbines remained in operation. The ministry stated that due to a complex legal dilemma, the fate of the wind farms is still in question, despite the Supreme Court ruling.

Terje Aasland, Minister of Energy and Petroleum, stated in a statement, “We recognise that the reindeer herders are burdened by this matter, but the ministry will do everything it can to help with its resolution, which won’t take any longer than is required.”

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The court has not shown transparency with respect to the 151 turbines that can power some 100,000 Norwegian homes or the fate of the dozens of kilometres of roads that were constructed to aid the building of turbines.

The sight and the sound of these large power machines scare their animals and affect age-old traditions. Ella Marie Haetta Isaksen, a Sami singer-songwriter, actress, and activist, said, “We are here to demand that the turbines be torn down and that legal rights must be respected.”

Roan Vind and Fosen Vind farms’ owners include Germany’s Stadtwerke München, Norwegian utilities Statkraft and TroenderEnergi, as well as Swiss firms Energy Infrastructure Partners and BKW.

Roan Vind, in a statement, stated, “We have faith that the ministry will come up with workable solutions that will let us continue producing renewable energy while upholding reindeer owners’ rights.”

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