Norway successfully cut emissions in 2019. It now aims to halve all emissions by end of next decade

NusfjordPhoto: Jessica Pamp / Unsplash
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Greenhouse gas emissions in Norway amounted to 51 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents in 2019, preliminary figures show.

That is a decrease of 2% from the previous year.

Emissions were highest when it came to oil and gas extraction, which accounted for 27% of the total emissions, with almost 14 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents. 

Nevertheless, emissions from these segments decreased by almost 2% during 2019, figures from Statistics Norway (SSB) show.

Reduced fuel consumption in transport made the most substantial contributions to the decrease in total greenhouse gas emissions.

“The drop in emissions was largely due to road traffic. Sales of gasoline and auto diesel went down this year, while the proportion of biofuels in the fuel mix increased. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions from road traffic were reduced by 8% to 8.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents,” senior adviser Trude Melby Bothner at Statistics Norway noted in June.

Decline in transport

Greenhouse gas emissions from other transport decreased by 7% compared to 2018.

Emissions of greenhouse gases from industry and mining increased by almost 2% from the previous year, partly due to increased production in the aluminum and ferroalloy industry.

Industry and mining are a significant source of emissions and account for 24% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in Norway.

Cutting down on emissions

Climate Minister Sveinung Rotevatn of the Liberal Party (V) believes that the emission figures show that the government’s climate policy is working.

“The corona crisis must not halt the development. Instead, we must emerge from the crisis with strengthened efforts aimed at the green transformation of society,” Rotevatn told news bureau NTB at the time.

Rotevatn added that pessimists often say that it is not possible to reach Norway’s ambitious climate targets.

“This shows that it is possible. I think we will be able to halve the emissions by 2030. But that requires that we continue to strengthen policies,” he noted.

Criticism from WWF

On the other hand, WWF General Secretary Karoline Andaur believes that there is no reason to be proud of the numbers.

“Even today, the nature around us is under intense pressure due to rapid temperature changes, and people are losing their livelihoods worldwide. At the same time, politicians sit in the Norwegian parliament (Storting) and discuss long-term incentives for the oil industry, which is our biggest source of emissions,” she told NTB in June.

Andaur is calling on politicians to be even braver.

“We must halve our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. It is now that politicians have to make fateful choices for the future,” Andaur warned.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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