Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on December 25, 2008
When it comes to the environment, it’s unfortunate Norway’s progressive attitude is often over shadowed by its stance on whaling (which btw has been limited by a quota system to the non-endangered Minke whale). But all that may be about to change. In an announcement this week, the Labor-led coalition government announced its aim to go carbon neutral by 2030 — a full 20 years earlier than its previous target.
How on earth do they plan to achieve this? By (according to a recent article) “reducing emissions at home and investing abroad in environmental projects that will give Norway CO2 reduction credits’ which will result in net carbon emissions of nil. Measures include investment in renewable energy, improvements in the mass transit system and fuel taxes on diesel and petrol at home, while $553 million has been earmarked to combat deforestation in developing countries.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has likened Norway’s ambitious approach to combating climate change to the “moon landing” for the 21st century. “The agreement gives Norway a far-sighted climate policy that can stand independently of shifting governments,” he said. Currently, most of Norway’s domestic energy needs are met by non-polluting hydro-electric stations, but as demand grows, plans to burn natural gas are in the pipeline. However, the government is investigating technologies that would allow emissions for such plants to be captured and buried.
It is certainly encouraging to see our Nordic neighbors taking an aggressive approach to saving the environment. If only they’d leave our large aquatic friends alone.