Historical archive

Speech to the congress of the Labour Party

Excerpts in English.

Norway will take a leading role in the development of a new, binding climate agreement. A follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol that ensures more extensive emissions cuts than we have today. This will require the participation of the countries that produce the highest emissions, including the United States, and major developing countries. They too will also have to take on concrete emissions commitments.

We in Norway must also take on greater commitments. Therefore I am going to present to you here today three goals and commitments in our future climate policy. And we intend to implement extensive measures at home and abroad in order to meet them.

These are three commitments that I am proud to present to you. 

Firstly:

  • We will commit ourselves to cutting emissions of greenhouse gases equivalent to 30% of our emissions by 2020.

What we do in the period from 2012 to 2020 will be important, but what we do between now and 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol expires, will be at least equally important. Under the Protocol we have undertaken not to increase our emissions by more than 1% of the 1990 level during the 2008–2012 period.

We have learned more about climate change since the Protocol was signed. We now know that reducing greenhouse gas emissions today will be more effective than making cuts tomorrow. We have also seen that the international mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gases are working well. This makes it possible for us to do more now. And we are therefore increasing our own commitments.

The second commitment is that we will surpass our Kyoto commitments:

  • Norway will sharpen our emission cuts obligations under the Kyoto Protocol by 10% in the period up to 2012.

But this is not enough.

By 2050, greenhouse gas emissions will have to be reduced even more drastically. Rich countries should become carbon neutral. This does not mean no emissions from the countries in question. But it does mean that each tonne of greenhouse gases emitted is to be offset by an equivalent reduction elsewhere. This adds up to zero emissions.

Norway will be at the forefront of international climate efforts. Thus my third proposal is:

  • In the period up to 2050, Norway will undertake to reduce global greenhouse  gas emissions equivalent to 100% of our own emissions. 

Today the Government has agreed to the proposal of a 30% cut in emissions by 2020, and has indicated its firm support for the Kyoto and carbon neutrality goals.

Climate problems are yet another example of the fact that the challenges of our time can only be addressed through joint action. Clean air, clean seas and ecological balance are some of humankind’s most fundamental shared goods. We cannot leave it to market forces and free competition to safeguard them.

Climate change is a question of solidarity and equity. Two of the core values of social democracy. Solidarity between generations and equity between rich and poor countries. We have fostered joint effort and a sense of community in our country with a view to creating equity. This sense of community is our most important tool in developing a society where everyone participates.  And we believe joint effort is essential if we are to save our shared environment.