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TODAY IN NORWAY

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday 

Government investment in offshore wind, SAS cutting flights and the Office of the Auditor General focusing on green issues are among the main stories from Norway today. 

Lofoten, Norway
Read about investment in offshore wind, the Office of the Auditor General focusing on green issues and whether or not russ busses should be scrapped. Pictured is Lofoten. Photo by Peter Oboňa on Unsplash

Government announces heavy investment in offshore wind 

The Norwegian government announced a large scale investment in offshore wind at a press conference on Wednesday morning. 

It said that it hoped that by 2040 there would be capacity for 30,000 MW of offshore wind production. This would be almost double the energy produced by wind in Norway currently. 

The development of offshore wind would also see new power cables built to supply Europe with Energy. 

“With this ambition, we go from the two offshore wind turbines that are in operation today to about 1,500 offshore wind turbines. The construction will take place over the next 20 years,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said at a press conference. 

SAS cancels 4,000 flights this summer

Airline SAS has cancelled 4,000 flights scheduled between May and September. 

“These are changes we make throughout the program, and it is important to emphasise that this applies to 4,000 of approximately 75,000 flights in the same period. Most passengers will not notice in any other way that they are booked over to other flights on the same day,” press officer for SAS, John Eckhoff, told ABC News.

The reason for the cancellations are troubles with staffing, and the delay of several new aircraft being delivered, Swedish outlet Dagens Industri reports.  

Office of the Auditor General to focus on green issues 

The Office of the Auditor General (Riksrevisjonen) will focus its sights on the climate as a key issue for the agency. 

The agency is responsible for auditing the governemnt and parliament and assessing how efficiently it is performing. 

“The Storting (Norway’s parliament) is quite clear that the climate challenge is the biggest challenge of our time. Then we must also have it as our main focus, otherwise, we are neither relevant nor follow our assignment from the Storting,” Karl-Eirik Schhøtt-Pedersen told newspaper VG

Schjøtt Pedersen also announced several reports on whether the Norwegian state was well equipped to meet parliament’s climate goals for 2030. 

“Our task is not to assess whether the Storting sets the right goals, but to see if the administration can implement the Storting’s goals,” Schjøtt-Pedersen said. 

Bullying ombudsman says russ busses too exclusive

The ombudsman for bullying in Viken county believes that russ buses should be more regulated due to their exclusive nature. 

“We receive many inquiries from parents, young people and schools about the consequences of the Russ celebration and how it mercilessly affects young people’s everyday lives,” head of the bullying ombudsman in Viken, Bodil J. Houg, told Drammens Tidende

The ombud said that russ celebrations affected pupils’ everyday school life so much that something needed to be done, and has made a list of ten points with suggestions for improvement. 

The list uniforms being axed, moving the celebrations until after exams and making the rules for busses tighter. 

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TODAY IN NORWAY

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday 

More than 160 SAS flights from Norway cancelled, three oil fields closed due to a strike and the population set to shrink in rural parts of the country. This and other headlines from Norway on Tuesday. 

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday 

SAS strike unlikely to be short-lived

Unfortunately for travellers booked with the airline, the current SAS strike looks set to rumble on for a while as there are two large issues pilots’ unions and the company will need to find consensus on before strike action ends, newspaper VG reports. 

“There are no reassuring signs that it will be short-lived. They have been negotiating for several days, with several postponements, and yet they did not agree,” aircraft analyst Jacob Pedersen from Danish Sydbank told VG. 

Pilots employed by SAS’s parent company, SAS Scandinavia, announced strike action because they were unsatisfied with their salary and working conditions.

In addition, the pilots are dissatisfied that instead of re-employing old SAS pilots, priority is given to hiring new pilots on cheaper agreements in the two subsidiaries, SAS Link and SAS Connect.

READ MORE: What the SAS strike means for travellers in Norway

At least 163 flights out of Norway were cancelled due to the SAS strike

On Tuesday, 163 services from SAS out of Norway were cancelled due to a strike, according to an overview from newspaper VG.

Of the cancellations, 79 were overseas departures, while 84 were domestic flights. 

Yesterday 900 pilots in Norway, Sweden and Denmark went on strike after the company and unions failed to reach an agreement by the Monday midday deadline. 

The airline said that up to 30,000 passengers per day could be affected. 

READ MORE: What can SAS passengers do if their flight is affected by pilots’ strike?

Population in rural Norway to shrink by 2050

Most rural municipalities in Norway will begin to shrink in population by 2050, while the cities and suburbs will continue to grow. 

This is according to a projection by national statistics agency Statistics Norway. 

Norway’s population is expected to grow from 5.4 million to 6 million by 2050 and 6.2 million by 2100. 

“The growth in the population in the next decades will be unevenly distributed across the country. Viken county is expected to grow by 19 percent by 2050, while Nordland is expected to shrink by 2 percent,” Statistics Norway researcher Sturla Løkken said. 

Three oil fields to go on strike

Union Lederne has taken 74 members out on strike, which will lead to the shut down of the Gudrun, Oseberg sør and Oseberg Øst oil fields. 

More oil fields could close on Wednesday when 117 more workers at three other oil fields could go on strike. 

According to Norwegian Oil and Gas, 13 percent of gas exports abroad will be lost due to the strike. 

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