"Both EU and Norway are
in the front end of moving the climate issue. Our systems for
emissions trading are the only ones of their kind. It is obvious
that we should cooperate across borders through such measures",
says Minister of Environment Helen Bjørnøy.
If the Emissions Trading Directive
is incorporated in the EEA agreement, it implies that the offshore
oil and gas sector as well as companies producing pulp and paper
will be included in the trading scheme from 2008, along with those
already covered in the period 2005-2007. From 2008 the trading
sector will represent more than 40 per cent of Norwegian emissions
of greenhouse gases. The Directive does not, however, stand in the
way for applying other policies and measures such as carbon taxes
or technological requirements.
"The government's decision is of
great importance to the companies covered by the scheme. This is
important in the work of developing a policy that brings Norway on
track to meet its Kyoto obligations," Helen Bjornoy says.
Both Norway's and the European
trading schemes were launched on 1 January 2005. The European
Emissions Trading Scheme is seen as the most important measure at
the Community level to implement the EU's obligations to reduce
emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.