Sunday, May 15

Renewable energy must not be at the expense of protected natural areas

  • Astrid Ekker (14)

    Deputy leader, Innlandet Grønn Ungdom

The Vefsnavassdraget has the status of one of Norway’s most important salmon rivers. The cup overflowed for me when I read about the Conservative politician who wants to expand it, writes Astrid Ekker (14).

I have no doubt that renewable energy is important, but I am strongly critical of sacrificing protected natural areas.

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In recent weeks, several people have spoken out in favor of revoking the conservation status of nature areas. This is to be able to produce more renewable Norwegian electricity.

I have no doubt that renewable energy is important, but I am strongly critical of sacrificing protected natural areas. Whether it is hydropower, mines, wind turbines or solar panels.

Rant over

The cup overflowed for me when I read about Conservative politician Bård Ludvig Thorheim who spoke out to build out Vefsnavassdraget. Vefsna is an hour and a half from where I grew up in Nordland.

Astrid Ekker (14) is deputy head of Innlandet Grønn Ungdom.

The Vefsnavassdraget is one of the most important salmon rivers in Norway. Villaksen is on the Norwegian red list and has the status of «near threatened». Further power development and intervention in the most important salmon rivers could make the living conditions for wild salmon even more difficult.

One of the most common arguments for building hydropower plants in protected areas is that it can be done in a gentle and nature-friendly way. I have little faith that it is possible.

The UN has sounded the alarm

In any case, encroachment on nature will be able to affect wildlife and change the unique nature areas that were initially protected. Land can be submerged, and rivers can be drained at times.

The UN has struck alarm. The natural crisis is at least as serious as the climate crisis.

The last thing nature needs now is for people to build large facilities where the sole purpose is to ensure our own short-term financial needs. In addition, there is less and less untouched nature in Norway.

I think this proposal lacks respect and is extremely historyless. Especially in these days where nature conservation has never been more important.


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