NEWS AND COMMENT: We would all have thought that Greta Thunberg, the world’s most high-profile climate change activist, would support wind farms. They are unsightly but they are very environmentally friendly. They use nature to create energy although they kill birds and can disturb ground-living animals. They generate nimbyism as people know we need them but not in my backyard.
But in this story, reported in the day’s news media and in The Times newspaper – the source of this article – Thunberg is seen to support protesters against one of Europe’s largest onshore renewable energy projects, the Fosen windfarm in the west of Norway.
Thunberg is against this windfarm. It might be difficult for her to protest against it. But she appears to have supported human rights in preference to fighting global warming in this instance.
She descended upon Oslo with other environmentalists in blockading ministries and camping outside the Royal Palace to demonstrate against the turbines.
There are currently 151 turbines built but the planned capacity is 1 GW when fully operational which is about as much power as a nuclear power plant can produce.
The problem is this: indigenous Sami people living in northern Scandinavia, regard the windfarm as a violation of their human rights because it displaces reindeer herders from their land which they have used for many centuries.
Norway’s Supreme Court judgement supports the Sami people. They ruled two years ago that the turbines were erected illegally. But two years later the turbines are still standing which resulted in the current protest.
The Sami people have embarked upon a campaign of civil disobedience.
Thunberg said: “For me it’s a given that I should stand in solidarity with the Sami youth who are fighting to enjoy basic human rights”.
She added that: “This struggle has been going on for centuries, and we cannot accept that the colonisation of Sami continues. Everyone who can be in Oslo now and show their support should do so.”
One Sami protester, Mihkkal Rboertabarti, from northern Norway camped outside the Norwegian Parliament in a traditional tepee-like tent called a Lavvu for a month. He said: “I watched over the Norwegian Parliament and pushed them to do their work and to uphold the Supreme Court ruling.”
It appears that the Sami people and the protest leaders have been granted a meeting with King Harald. It is expected to take place soon.