Press Release: Norwegian Ambassador Makes Urgent Plea for Carbon Pollution Reduction

February 2011

For Immediate Release

Feb 9th, 2011

Contact: Mariel Nanasi 505-469-4060

Norwegian Ambassador Makes Urgent Plea for Carbon Pollution Reduction

Presentations Addressed Science and Economics

Santa Fe – The Norwegian Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Wegger Chr. Strommen, led a luncheon discussion for local business leaders highlighting the importance of addressing climate change and the economic growth opportunities entailed by carbon pollution reduction and clean energy development. Mayor David Coss introduced Ambassador Strommen to more than 100 guests at the Santa Fe Convention Center.

‘Climate change requires our urgent response – for our own sakes and for the sake of our children,’ said Ambassador Strommen. ‘If we act resolutely, we can contain climate change and create stronger and more robust economies.’

The event was titled ‘The Arctic is Melting and the Desert is Burning: Impact Globally and Locally,’ and included presentations from Dr. Kim Holmen, Research Director, Norwegian Polar Institute; Dr. Gregg Garfin, Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona; and Rafe Pomerance, Senior Advisor to Clean Air-Cool Planet and former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Environment and Development.

Luncheon guests also saw a video presentation by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former Chief Economist of US Council of Economic Advisors under President Bush and former Director of the Congressional Budget Office. “Conservatives should be attracted to market-based approaches to carbon pollution that provide business certainty and foster innovation, enhance national security, roll back expensive command and control regulation, and do not expand government,’ said Holtz-Eakin. Video link: Watch Holtz-Eakin’s presentation.

Like New Mexico, Norway is a major producer and exporter of oil and natural gas. Norway currently produces approximately 2 million[1] barrels of oil per day while New Mexico produces approximately 184,000[2] barrels of oil per day. Yet, Norway is responding aggressively to climate change and seeks to be a carbon neutral nation by 2030[3], while the US has failed to act on federal climate and energy policy.

The Ambassador’s visit to Santa Fe was facilitated by the Royal Norwegian Embassy and Clean Air–Cool Planet, an environmental nonprofit dedicated to solving the global warming problem. Local coordinators of the event include nonprofits Audubon New Mexico, New Energy Economy and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. In-kind and financial support was provided by the Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau and Avalon Trust.

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