Elon Musk tweeted his joy when a Norwegian paper announced a proposed ban of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles in the nordic country by 2025.
The proposal itself is built upon good intentions. By eliminating sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, tailpipe emissions will slowly reduce. The country is famously energy independent, thanks to massive offshore oil reserves, which can be converted into hydrogen or used to generate electricity. And electric vehicles are increasingly popular in the country thanks to massive incentives funded by oil exports.
The proposal has me wondering about something else entirely: could the fossil-fuel-vehicle ban have serious political ramifications in Europe? Norwegian serial drama Okkupert — Occupied in English — might have some answers.
The premise of the series: Norway decides to turn off the oil tap to the rest of Europe. The European Union says, “Nah, we still want that,” and Russia installs itself as Norway’s overseer via a velvet glove occupation.
Now, I’m not saying that Russia is going to takeover Norway because a few political parties in the nordic nation want to ban the sale fossil-fuel vehicles. However, this may be the tip of a very interesting iceberg.
Norway’s economy dependent on oil and gas revenues. Unlike other nations, Norway has been incredibly smart and conservative with its resources, and national oil company Statoil directly employs some 27,000 employees. While it reaps the benefits of those reserves, Norway has heavily invested in the private ownership of electric vehicles through massive incentives, far more so than any state or federal government in the United States.
So, in the future, should the rest of Europe decide similar measures be part of its collective future, how will Norway — one of the largest exporters of energy to the rest of Europe — sustain itself? Are the four political parties as part of this agreement pushing a snowball from the top of a mountain? Will it get bigger and bigger in size to the point where Norway’s economic crutch, the export of oil, is no longer be profitable if the rest of Europe follows Norway down this political path?
This will be an interesting story to watch — especially from afar.
[Image: Yellow Bird]
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