A Budget for climate

This year, the Norwegian Government is presenting a budget for employment, activity and adjustment. The budget proposals stimulate, therefore, focus on climate and environmental technologies and new green workplaces. Simultaneously, focus will be on climate-friendly transport by way of increased appropriations to pedestrian and cycling paths, by maintaining the high level of railway funding and through appropriations and tax relief for green shipping.

“In the future, work and trade and industry must be green and innovative. Climate measures in the budget will stimulate the creation of future jobs. The Government has also introduced several initiatives in the fields of climate, pollution and cultural heritage, whilst efforts relating to natural diversity and outdoor activities will continue at the same level as in 2015”, says Tine Sundtoft, Minister of Climate and Environment.

“Norway’s climate policy affects a number of sectors in our society. There are no easy solutions, but the sum of the measures in the budget points towards a necessary restructuring. Petroleum activities will no longer be the growth engine in the Norwegian economy. This is reflected in our budget proposals”, says Sundtoft

The most important climate and environmental issues in the National Budget for 2016:

 

New billions to climate and energy fund (Ministry of Petroleum and Energy). The Government proposes a new allocation to the climate and energy fund amounting to NOK 14.25 billion. With this new allocation the fund will total NOK 67.75 billion. Thus, the ambition in the climate compromise has been over-fulfilled by NOK 17.75 billion. The increased appropriation will stimulate environmentally-friendly energy restructuring and contribute to the development of new energy and climate technology in Norway.

Enova to receive more than NOK 2.3 billion in 2016 (Ministry of Petroleum and Energy). The Government is to increase the allocation to Enova by NOK 88 million from 2015. Enova’s goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector and supporting the development of new energy and climate technology, in particular in industry. The Government proposes that support for energy efficiency measures in households may be distributed as part of the tax settlement.

More to environmental technology in industry (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries). Norway’s trade and industry carries out a great deal of environmentally oriented technological research and development. Innovation Norway’s environmental technology programme will receive an increased appropriation of NOK 134.5 million, bringing it to a total of NOK 464.5 million.

Follow up of the biogas strategy (Ministry of Climate and Environment). The Government proposes to double the appropriation to the pilot scheme for biogas plants from NOK 10 million to NOK 20 million in order to follow up the biogas strategy. The concentration on biogas will likely contribute to emissions in the transport sector being reduced and play a part in cutting biogas’ production costs.

Strengthen the green shift in shipping (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries). The Government wants to achieve reduced emissions and increased competitiveness in the maritime industry through a new initiative. A total of NOK 40 million will be allocated to a green renewal of the short sea shipping fleet.

Reduced electricity duties for large data centres and vessels engaged in commercial activity (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries). The Government proposes to introduce a reduced rate of duty on electrical power for large data centres and vessels engaged in commercial activities, from 14.50 øre to 0.48 øre per kWh. Compared to other countries, Norway has a large share of clean renewable power. The reduced rate for vessels engaged in commercial activities will be important if we are to encourage the transition to electric ferries and an increase in use of power from land.

Commitment to research centres for renewable energy (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries).) Appropriations toresearch centres engaged in environmentally-friendly energy will be strengthened by NOK 40 million. These centres have as a goal to bring the best research circles in the country together in a common effort.

More to further development of CO2 treatment (Ministry of Petroleum and Energy). The Government proposes to allocate NOK 80 million for further planning of a full-scale demonstration plant for CO2 treatment in Norway. In addition, the Government proposes to allocate NOK 30 million more to research, development and demonstration of technology.

Focus on developing climate statistics for municipalities (Ministry of Climate and Environment). The Government wants the municipalities to be better able to prioritise good climate measures by allocating NOK 6.4 million to the development of new statistics on greenhouse gas emissions in the municipalities.

Still high appropriation level for railways (Ministry of Transport and Communications). The Government maintains the railway funding at roughly the same historically high level as in 2015. The Government intends reduce the backlog of railway maintenance, and therefore proposes to increase the appropriation for the operation and maintenance of railways by almost NOK 1.4 billion.


Increased appropriations for urban environment agreements (Ministry of Transport and Communications). Urban environment agreements have as an overriding goal to ensure that the growth in passenger transport is to be met by way of public transport, cycling and walking. Negotiations are underway with Oslo/Akershus and Trondheim on urban environment agreements. The Government now proposes to increase funding by NOK 70 to NOK 300 million. Urban environment agreements must be seen in the context of the current premiering scheme for better public transport, which will be included as part of the urban environment agreements.

Increased appropriation to Fornebu Line (Ministry of Transport and Communications). In the National Budget for 2015, the Government allocated NOK 25 million as a special grant for the Fornebu Line. The grant will now be increased by NOK 75 million.


Focus on pedestrian and bicycle routes (Ministry of Transport and Communications). The Government proposes to increase the appropriation for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration's initiatives for pedestrians and cyclists by NOK 214 million, bringing the total appropriation to NOK 600 million.


More to pollution clean-up of Puddefjorden in Bergen (Ministry of Climate and Environment). In the Political Platform agreed upon at Sundvolden, the Government pledged to strengthen the clean-up of contaminants in the polluted sediment. The clean-up of Puddefjorden starts in 2016, and the Government will pay up to NOK 116 million for this work over a period of two years.


More to climate measures in forests and marshes (Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Ministry of Climate and Environment). In the 2016 budget the Government allocated NOK 33 million to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food to initiate measures for planting new trees closer together after felling, fertilizing forests and improving forest plant cultivation. In addition, the appropriation to the Ministry of Climate and Environment for the restoration of trenched marshes in and around protected area is proposed increased to NOK 13 million in 2016, while it is proposed that the pilot scheme for afforestation, which was established under the Ministry of Climate and Environment in 2015, shall be continued with NOK 15 million.


Continuation of climate and forest measures (Ministry of Climate and Environment). The Government continues its climate and forest measures with NOK 3 billion in 2016. In 2016, it is envisaged that Norway will finance reduced emissions from tropical forests of around 40 million tonnes of CO2.

Increase the purchase of UN-approved climate quotas (Ministry of Climate and Environment). The Government increases the scope of the purchase of UN-approved climate quotas by NOK 270 million. Quota purchases under the green development mechanism trigger investments in climate measures in developing countries and ensure that Norway can fulfil its climate obligations under Kyoto II.


More to flood and landslides measures (Ministry of Petroleum and Energy). Prevention of floods and landslide is an important climate adaptation measure. The Government has therefore increased funding for flood and landslide prevention measures by NOK 100 million. In addition, The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate’s budget will be strengthened by NOK 80 million for the clean-up following the floods in Western Norway.


Will establish national digital height model (Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation). The Government allocates NOK 36 million to the development of a national digital height model. This model will be an important common infrastructure for government agencies and municipalities, and will, among other things, strengthen the work on climate adaptation, cultural heritage and ecological mapping.


More for maintenance of heritage sites and ship preservation (Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Climate and Environment). The Government proposes to increase the appropriation for ship preservation by NOK 40 million under the Ministry of Climate and Environment and allocate NOK 57 million to the Ministry of Culture for the maintenance of heritage buildings. Both measures are currently a part of the Government's one-year employment package.