Two thirds of the climate cuts at home

Vidar Helgesen, joint climate declarationMinister of Climate and Environment Vidar Helgesen.Photo:

Helgesen will take two thirds of the climate cuts at home in Norway

Norway must provide cuts in climate emissions of a total of 30 million metric ton between 2021 and 2030. Minister for Climate, Vidar Helgesen, wants to take two thirds of the cuts nationally.


On Friday, the Minister for Climate and Environmental Affairs will submit a parliamentary report with the Government’s strategy to reach the climate targets by 2030. It is apparent that expected climate emissions in Norway in the years to come are far higher than the level that will be allowed if we are to follow the EU’s climate plan.

The Ministry of Climate and Environment estimates that Norway must cut a total of 30 million ton between 2021 and 2030 to reach the agreed level. Helgesen now goes in to take most of these cuts in Norway.

– Roughly speaking, we wish to do two thirds of the job at home, says Helgesen to NTB.

Non-quota sector

The new strategy applies to the non-quota sector, that is, the part of climate emissions outside the EU quota system for businesses. The strategy thus covers sectors such as transport, agriculture, waste and buildings. The target for 2030 is expected to be a 40 percent cut compared to the 2005 level.

The EU will probably let Norway buy between 5.5 and 11 million quotas from the quota system in order to buy itself out off a part of the cuts. That possibility the Government think that Norway should make use of.

What remains is a need for cuts of between 20 and 25 million tons, accumulated throughout the period from 2021 to 2030.

The measures have already been adopted

Helgesen believes the entire cut of 20-25 million tonnes of greenhouse gases can be achieved at home.

– This strategy shows that we really have the 2030 goals within reach. It is a strategy that places the emphasis on measures in Norway, he says.

The Minister for Climate does not propose new measures to reach the target. On the contrary, the Environmental Directorate’s calculations show that this can be achieved by Norway simply implementing the policy that has already been adopted.

The most important measures are in the transport sector:

  • All new passenger cars and light vans must be emissions free from 2025.
  • The proportion of biofuels must be stepped up to 20 per cent by 2020.
  • Passenger transport by car can not increase in urban areas.

– There are not so many new policy areas that need to be identified. It’s about making sure that we follow up the goals we have already set, says Helgesen.

Great uncertainty

The Conservative Minister emphasizes that the figures in the parliamentary report must be taken with a pinch of salt. It is not just because there is uncertainty about the effect of various measures, but also that it has not yet clarified how strict the emission target will be for Norway.

– We will return to the Parliament when the EU process is complete. It takes longer than we thought. Nevertheless, we have concluded that we think we know enough, both about what we can expect and how much we need to cut in Norway in the future, so that we can put forward a strategy, says the Minister for the Climate and Environment.

– This will be a kind of roadmap, he says.

It is up to the next Parliament to decide whether the strategy is the right one.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today