Greta Thunberg opposes controversial wind farm project in Norway
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg took part in a mass protest on Monday outside the Oil and Energy Ministry in Oslo against a controversial wind farm being built on a mountainous area in Sami lands.
Together with Sami activists, Greta Thunberg protested to demolish the 150 new wind turbines built in a mountain area used by the Sami people for centuries as a grazing area for their reindeer. The Sami are a semi-nomadic indigenous population scattered in the north of the Scandinavian peninsula across Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia.
“This is an international disgrace that affects more than just Norway. There is a global struggle for indigenous rights all over the world. Unfortunately, this is just one example of that,” Thunberg told Aftenposten.
When asked why she is protesting against wind power, which is usually described as climate-friendly, Thunberg replied that it “is not about opposition to wind power, but about human rights being violated. We can’t have climate change at the expense of indigenous people’s rights,” she said.
The activists positioned themselves outside several government buildings in Oslo and blocked all entrances to the Ministry of Oil and Energy, prompting the police to act and leading to two protesters being taken into custody.
The Norwegian Supreme Court has previously ruled that the wind farm construction is considered a violation of the Sami people’s rights.
In an email to NRK, the Norwegian government has stated that they have taken note of the Supreme Court’s decision and that the ruling “requires clarification of the situation.”
On Thursday, Petroleum and Energy Minister Terje Aasland is due to meet with Sami Assembly chair Silje Karine Muotka, where wind farm discussions are expected to continue discussions on the wind farm.
(Charles Szumski | EURACTIV.com)