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Opposition Says Norway Is Buying Itself Out Of Climate Goals

Statoil offshore

Norway will be increasingly tempted to fund carbon emission cuts abroad instead of reining in its own greenhouse gas emissions in order to reach its ambitious 2030 climate goals, a member of the opposition Socialist Left party, SV, said on Monday.

Norway has one of the world’s most ambitious net zero carbon goals—to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030, which was enshrined into law in 2016, but which comes with the caveat that Norway can use the so-called carbon credits—financing greenhouse gas reductions in other countries—to offset its own emissions.

According to Audun Lysbakken of the Socialist Left party in Norway and a former minister in a previous Labor government, “The closer we get to 2030, the more difficult it will be to reach our climate goals.”

“It will become more tempting to buy ourselves free of them,” Nina Berglund at newsinenglish.no quoted Lysbakken as saying on Monday.

While Norway has ambitious climate goals, neither the Labor party—currently in opposition, nor the ruling Conservatives are inclined to limit Norway’s oil and gas production. Smaller parties who are part of the coalition governments of either Conservatives or Labor in recent years have called for the government to pay more attention to climate-related issues, but they have had to compromise on many occasions.

Norway’s own domestic emissions are rising, the statistics office Statistics Norway said earlier this month. Greenhouse gas emissions increased by 0.4 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, according to Statistics Norway.

Emissions from oil and gas extraction jumped by 75.6 percent between 1990 and 2018, but over the past year emissions from oil and gas extraction dropped by 1.4 percent, according to the statistics which also showed that total energy supply emissions fell by 5.1 percent annually in  2018.

On the day on which the debate over Norway’s emission goals and the ways to achieve them was rekindled, Norway’s oil and gas major Equinor said that it had made an oil and gas discovery in one exploration well in the Norwegian Sea.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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