NOK 1.3 billion increase for climate and environment

The Government's budget proposal for 2018 has a clear climate and environment profile. A number of climate measures have been proposed that cut greenhouse gas emissions, both nationally and internationally. In addition, there are measures that strengthen the business sector's green competitiveness. A new investment company is one of the tools.

Overall, the government reinforces the climate and environmental profile in the budget by more than NOK 1.3 billion. Of this, NOK 219 million are investments in the budget of the Ministry of Climate and Environment. The biggest investments are to be found on other ministries' budgets.

-We will reach the climate targets by 2030 and we will become a low-emission society in 2050. To succeed, we must develop new and green competitiveness for Norwegian businesses and industry. We want to create new jobs through commitment to knowledge, research and innovation, says Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen

The government will make sure that the financing of Enova's business (energy restructuring) is more targeted and predictable. As of 2018, it is therefore suggested that the return from the Climate and Energy Fund be replaced by ordinary appropriations that have been decoupled from the interest rate level. Total funding for Enova will be approximately NOK 2.7 billion in 2018.

Investment Company

The government is working on creating a new investment company that will contribute to reduced greenhouse gas emissions through investments in new technology. It is proposed that the company from 2018 receive an investment framework of NOK 400 million. The grants will be further expanded in light of the company's business and investment opportunities.

The government has taken an initiative to propose and visualize Norwegian green solutions for increased exports and to attract international investors to Norway. Innovation Norway has been commissioned to establish a partnership with private business and NOK 10 million is suggested as allocation towards this.

The government will maintain and reinforce the focus on public transport and urban environmental agreements. It is proposed to allocate approximately NOK 2.5 billion to measures towards public transport, bicycling and pedestrian spaces in the nine largest urban areas. This is an increase of 23 per cent from 2017. This includes measures along state roads, the scheme of a 50 per cent government funding for larger public transport and reward funds.

Railway priorities

The strong railway efforts will continue, with approximately NOK 23.1 billion. The Government proposes that NOK 8.9 billion be set aside to continue ongoing railway projects, including possible start-up of two new Inter City projects: Venjar-Eidsvoll-Langset on the Dovre-line and Sandbukta-Moss-Såstad on the eastern line, Østfoldbanen. Approximately NOK 3.5 billion has been proposed for the purchase of passenger transport by train, including the purchase of 14 new trains distributed on the Gjøvik- and the Vosse-lines.

The Ministry of Climate and Environment's grant for research on low emissions and green competitiveness is to be strengthened by NOK 20 million in 2018. The investment is a continuation, based on the 71.5 million kronor granted in 2017. In addition, the Government proposes to strengthen the research project The Nansen Heritage, via the Ministry of Education's budget, with NOK 20 million. In addition, there is an allocation of NOK 10 million to technology development for the future bio economy and low-emission communities, via the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Rainforests

There is a proposal to strengthen the climate and forest initiative to NOK 3 billion in 2018. The initiative supports efforts in developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from rain forests degradation. Overall, the government proposes that Norway pay for about 30 million tonnes of reduced CO2 emissions by 2018.

The government will help strengthen international climate cooperation and lend support to the implementation of climate negotiations and the Paris agreement. There is therefore a proposal to allocate NOK 25 million to the climate negotiations and the UN climate panel.

The Government proposes to transfer responsibility for the Meteorological Institute and the Artsdatabanken (The Species Databank) from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

-In this way, we are strengthening the knowledge base of our environmental management systems, which is important for developing a comprehensive climate and environmental policy, says Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen

The Governmen will prioritize measures to ensure good and safe management of wolves in Norway. NOK 7.4 million is proposed for radio targeting wolves, and for increased capacity in the Statens naturoppsyn (the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate). Furthermore, an allocation of NOK 20 million is proposed for municipalities that have wolf territories. To prevent spread of chronic wasting disease in deer, an allocation of NOK 18.6 million is proposed, in order to take out the reindeer in the Nordfjella-mountains.

Further elements from the Ministry of Climate and Environment's budget are highlighted in specific press releases.