Norway’s ruling conservative party has said it will expand the country’s coal mine and expand the use of nuclear power, but environmental groups fear it could threaten the environment.
The Norwegian Energy and Natural Resources Ministry said on Thursday it plans to expand the Minebrekkel coal mine to increase its output to about 2,000 tonnes per year, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corp reported.
Norway has a high-level of carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal, and the country is not among the world’s leading producers of carbon-free energy.
“It will create more pollution in the area where the coal mine will be located, which will increase the risk of earthquakes,” said Erling Høgsberg, the head of Greenpeace Norway.
He added that the mine could be dangerous for the environment and could also have a negative effect on nearby lakes and rivers.
Environmental groups have said that the expansion of the mine would not only be dangerous, but could also pollute nearby lakes, the region’s main source of drinking water.
Norway’s nuclear power sector, which relies on nuclear waste, has also been affected by the expanding coal mine.
Norway is planning a 1,700-megawatt (MW) nuclear power plant, but that is not expected to start operations until 2019 at the earliest.
The government said in January that it was also planning to increase the use and export of nuclear energy, which could help the country to meet its climate targets.
The country’s biggest electricity company, Statoil, said it was considering expanding its coal mining operations to help meet the countrys carbon-reduction targets.