The Government has entered into a new NOx agreement with the business community
The Ministry of Climate and Environment has signed a new environmental agreement with 15 NGOs on reducing emissions of hazardous nitrogen oxides (NOx).
Instead of paying a tax to the state, the affiliated companies pay a membership fee to the Business NOx Fund. The fund again grants support for the implementation of emission reduction measures in the companies.
Business will reduce its annual NOx emissions by 16,000 metric ton by 2025. The agreement is an important tool for ensuring that Norway complies with its international emission commitments.
– The NOx agreement is a good example of the fact that the authorities and industry together can develop instruments that ensure emission reductions and environmental improvements.
– It is very positive that we are now have reached an agreement that will give new emission cuts in the coming years, says Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen.
Agrees with the environmental agreement
The new environmental agreement has duration of eight years from 2018, and is the third in the series of agreements where industry commits itself to reducing its NOx emissions.
Contracting parties are the State at the Climate and Environment Department and 15 NGOs representing businesses covered by the NOx emissions tax.
Individual businesses are exempted from paying a fee by joining the environmental agreement. They also undertake to reduce their emissions.
– The NOx agreements have resulted in a breakthrough for the use of large-scale emission-reducing technologies. This creates new markets for the supplier industry.
We have seen this in particular in domestic shipping. Through the NOx fund, NGOs have contributed significantly to the introduction of low and zero emission technologies such as LNG and electrical operations, says Minister of Industry, Monica Mæland.
The environmental obligation in the new agreement is designed as a total emission ceiling for all businesses covered by the agreement for periods of two years, a total of four periods.
The emission ceiling is gradually tighter from one period to the next. Emissions from the operations covered are for 2016 calculated to a total of 97,000 ton. For the last two years (2024-2025), the emission ceiling is an average of 81,000 ton per year.
It is up to the organizations and businesses to decide what measures they want to implement to comply with the emission ceilings.
If the emission ceilings are not complied with, there is a requirement to pay a tax to the state depending on the amount excessing the agreement.
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) contribute to acidification, eutrophication and increased concentrations of tropospheric ozone. Emissions can damage ecosystems and vegetation.
They also cause health damage to humans at high levels of pollution in the cities. Norway has commitments to reduce NOx emissions in the Gothenburg Protocol and again in the EEA Agreement.
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