Increased commitment to climate and cultural heritage

The Norwegian Government gives priority to climate and cultural heritage issues in its proposed budget for 2015. The Climate and Forest Initiative will receive NOK 3 billion in the budget for the Ministry of Climate and Environment next year. The Ministry also presented a strategy for biogas and there is a new allocation of NOK 20 million for fire protection of stave churches and traditional wooden buildings.

The Norwegian Government gives priority to climate and cultural heritage issues in its proposed budget for 2015. The Climate and Forest Initiative will receive NOK 3 billion in the budget for the Ministry of Climate and Environment next year. The Ministry also presented a strategy for biogas and there is a new allocation of NOK 20 million for fire protection of stave churches and traditional wooden buildings.

“Climate policy is cross-sectorial. The Government’s overall policy is to aid Norway’s transition to a low emission society. We must invest in green solutions today to be a future leader in the green shift. The basis for this eco-restructuring is a long-term and ambitious climate policy. This budget sets us well on the way to restructuring and this is evident in the areas of the various ministries,” said Climate and Environment Minister Tine Sundtoft.

An overview of the Government’s various climate and environment measures can be found here.

The Government proposes a substantial increase in the level of the Climate and Forest Initiative, which contributes to international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.

“The Climate and Forest Initiative is an example of effective climate policy, while at the same time we are helping to reduce poverty in the countries we are working with,” said Sundtoft.

An increase of 134.1 million for the Climate and Forest Initiative

The proposed budget includes an increase of NOK 134.1 million for the Climate and Forest Initiative, which will then have a total allocation of NOK 3 billion. Norway is an important driving force in raising the level of ambition in international climate policy. The goals of the initiative are ambitious and demanding, but the results so far demonstrate that it is possible to ensure a comprehensive and integrated climate policy while also attending to the needs of developing countries.

Ten million for biogas

The Government also proposes allocating NOK 10 million of the Climate and Environment Ministry budget to implement the biogas strategy. The money will go to research and a pilot plant for biogas production. This can help to reduce the cost of the production of biogas.

Twenty million for fire protection

To ensure adequate fire protection of stave churches and clusters of wooden buildings, the Government proposes to allocate NOK 20 million for necessary fire protection to prevent the loss of irreplaceable cultural treasures.

Ten million for the Year of Outdoor Life

In 2015 the Government will implement the Year of Outdoor Life, which aims to increase outdoor activities in the population. This is also an important contribution to governmental efforts in public health and voluntary action. During the year various outdoor activities will be organised throughout the country. An extra NOK 10 million will go to grants for such activities.

Ten million for a polar bear count

The Government proposes NOK 10 million for a new polar bear count in Svalbard and the Barents Sea in 2015. The 2004 count revealed an estimated population of 2650 individuals. Polar bears are one of the Arctic species most vulnerable to climate change. The count will be performed by the Norwegian Polar Institute in cooperation with Russian colleagues.

Remediation of polluted ground

The Government proposes a NOK 10 million increase for the remediation of ground and sea beds contaminated with environmentally hazardous substances. This increase will enable a project in Northern Norway to be implemented.

Gene bank for salmon and sea trout

For the establishment of a gene bank for salmon and sea trout in the Hardanger Fjord area, the Government proposes a budget increase of NOK 27 million.

The tax exemption for waste oil

The Government also proposes to repeal the exemption from tax on waste oil. Furthermore, to ensure reliable collection and processing of waste oil, the Government proposes an increase in the subsidy for waste oil delivery. This implies an increased allocation of NOK 30 million.

121 million to protect forests

The Government proposes NOK 121 million for forest protection next year. That is the same amount as in 2012, but a decrease from this year’s budget. One reason for the decrease is that the queue that formed in 2012 for voluntary forest protection has now been eliminated. Large sums have been spent on voluntary forest protection since the scheme started over ten years ago. During this period, a total of about NOK 740 million has been spent.

The proposed 2015 budget for the Ministry of Climate and Environment amounts to NOK 8029.3 million.