As Russia turns off Europe’s gas for the winter, all eyes are on Norway, now the continent’s largest supplier of natural gas. Although Norway has pumped up production nearly 10% this year, prices are still painfully high. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store agreed last week to set up a task force with the Europe Union to discuss those prices, but not before taking price caps off the table and sending gas futures soaring.
Expanding fossil fuel production is at odds with Store’s mission after coming to power in 2021. He says his main reason to be in politics is to speed the world’s transition to clean fuels. (Norway itself gets 95% of its power from hydroelectricity.) Soon after taking office, he promised to double his country’s financial commitment to the international climate finance fund to 14 billion Norwegian kroner (roughly $1.5 billion) annually by 2026. The fund was set up to help developing nations transition to renewables, and Norway is the only nation to meet a Climate Action Tracker benchmark for its climate finance contributions, based on rich countries’ current pledge of $100 billion.