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Norway’s center-left wins after vote;  the climate is a key issue


Norway’s center-left bloc appear to have won Monday’s parliamentary elections

With a projection based on a preliminary tally of nearly 52% of the vote, the Labor Party and its two allies – the Socialist Left and the Eurosceptic Center Party – appear to have won power. The left-wing party in the Norwegian parliament would get a total of 101 seats while the current government would get 67 of the 169 seats in the Stortinget assembly, according to the Norwegian Election Commission. The majority is at 85 seats.

As the largest party in Norway, Labor is reportedly trying to form a coalition government. The Scandinavian country is not a member of the European Union.

Labor has pledged an industrial policy that will channel support for new green industries, such as wind power, ‘blue hydrogen’ which uses natural gas to produce an alternative fuel, and carbon capture and storage, which seeks to bury carbon dioxide under the ocean.

“We will take our time to talk to the other parties, and we respect the fact that this has not been decided until it has been decided,” Labor leader Jonas Gahr Stoere told his left before the polls closed on Monday.

Any post-election haggling is likely to be heavy for the Labor Party and 61-year-old Gahr Stoere. The socialist left will not offer its support lightly and the Center Party is also demanding a more aggressive approach to switch to renewables.

The campaign focused on oil and gas from the North Sea which helped make Norway one of the richest countries in the world. But climate change fears have cast doubt on the industry’s future. The country’s largest industry is responsible for over 40% of exports and directly employs over 5% of the workforce.

On the other hand, Norwegians are among the most climate-conscious consumers in the world, with most new car purchases now being electric.

Most of the country’s oil and gas still comes from mature areas of the North Sea, but most of the untapped reserves lie in the Barents Sea, above the Arctic Circle. It’s a red line for environmentalists, who could play a crucial role in securing a majority government.

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ABC News