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Daily Archives: 15. February 2011 − News & Stories

Spits­ber­gen: a tax oasis?

Becau­se of the regu­la­ti­ons of the Spits­ber­gen trea­ty, Spits­ber­gen is VAT-free zone and has a low com­pa­ny tax of 16 % rather than 28 %, as in main­land Nor­way. Con­se­quent­ly, Lon­gye­ar­by­en is an attrac­ti­ve place for com­pa­nies to sett­le down, but aut­ho­ri­ties are get­ting stric­ter on con­di­ti­ons to be met by com­pa­nies taxa­ting in Spits­ber­gen: a local office and manage­ment are nee­ded. The low tax regu­la­ti­on is for local com­pa­nies rather than tax refu­gees.

Two com­pa­nies have recent­ly been „expel­led“ from Spits­ber­gen, inclu­ding a daugh­ter of the oil rigg pro­vi­der Seadrill Nor­ge. With only one man in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, the com­pa­ny had an inco­me of about 700 mil­li­on Nor­we­gi­an Kro­ner (88 mil­li­on Euro), more than the lar­gest local employ­er Store Nor­ske (mining, 557 mil­li­on Kro­ner).

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten

Cli­ma­te chan­ge in and around Spits­ber­gen

Ever­y­bo­dy is tal­king about cli­ma­te chan­ge in the arc­tic, but what is actual­ly going on? The Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te, through its MOSJ-pro­ject (envi­ron­men­tal moni­to­ring of Sval­bard and Jan May­en), has gathe­red a ran­ge of data that make it quite clear that acce­le­ra­ting cli­ma­te chan­ge is a mea­sura­ble fact: the tem­pe­ra­tu­re has a ten­den­cy to increase during most of the 20th cen­tu­ry, with a mark­ed and still incre­asing acce­le­ra­ti­on in recent years. Pre­ci­pi­ta­ti­on is fol­lo­wing, alt­hough the trend is less pro­no­un­ced and clear here.

The sea ice has decreased by 35-40 % (area; refer­ring to maxi­mum dis­tri­bu­ti­on in April) from 1979 to 2009, and it is get­ting thin­ner: from 1.20 meters (1966) to 0,80 meters (2006) around Hopen island. Tem­pe­ra­tures at the top level of the per­ma­frost are by now incre­asing as fast as 1°C per deca­de, and gla­ciers around Ny Åle­sund have lost 15 meters of avera­ge thic­k­ness, also here with a stron­gly acce­le­ra­ting ten­den­cy in recent years.

Polar bear in open drift ice: sym­bol of cli­ma­te chan­ge

Climate change in and around Spitsbergen

Source: MOSJ (Mil­jøo­ver­våking på Sval­bard og Jan May­en), Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te


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