Norway's finance minister doubts global warming is man-made

AP News
Posted: Apr 29, 2015 7:54 AM
Norway's finance minister doubts global warming is man-made

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Norway's finance minister says she doubts that global warming is man-made, seemingly contradicting the country's official position in U.N. climate talks.

In an on-camera interview posted on the Aftenposten newspaper's website on Tuesday, Siv Jensen answered "no" to a question about whether she was convinced that climate change was caused by humans.

Asked to clarify whether she was in doubt about man-made warming, she said "yes."

Jensen, who leads the right-wing Progress Party, said she still backs the coalition government's climate policies.

Norway is seen as a leader in international efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions and was among the first countries to submit a target for a U.N. climate pact that's expected to be adopted in Paris in December. The Scandinavian country pledged to cut emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

The government's submission refers to the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest assessment, which concluded that it's "extremely likely" that most of the warming observed since the 1950s was caused by human influence on the climate system.

Jensen's comments drew anger from critics, including her sister, who heads the national branch of the WWF environmental group.

"Fortunately, Norwegian climate policies don't depend on the Progress Party leader's personal views on this matter," Nina Jensen told Aftenposten. "But I want to underline that political leaders today who sow doubt about man-made climate change aren't doing their job to create solutions to the most important problem the world is facing."

Siv Jensen later told Aftenposten her answers "lacked nuance" and said she didn't want to start a debate on the issue.

Calls to Prime Minister Erna Solberg's office weren't immediately returned on Wednesday.