Norway working to remove fossil fuel subsidies

The Government will work at the international level to promote the removal of subsidies on fuels that are harmful to the environment, exacerbate climate change and undermine sustainable development.   

‘We have drawn up a strategy aimed at phasing out subsidies on harmful fossil fuels. At the same time, we need to make sure that a reduction in subsidies does not negatively affect the most vulnerable people in developing countries. Norway will promote the implementation of social measures that can help counter any negative consequences a reduction in subsidies may have for the poor,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.  

In 2013, approximately NOK 3 400 billions was spent globally on subsidising the use of fossil fuels. Subsidies on oil, gas and coal tend to have negative impacts on the climate, environment and sustainable development. In addition, only a small proportion of the poor benefits from the subsidies.  

Since 2009, the G20 countries have repeatedly stated their aim to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, and both the US and China are to draw up overviews of their subsidies.   

‘Subsidising fossil fuels has the opposite effect of putting a price on CO2 emissions, and figures from the International Monetary Fund show that by removing these subsidies we can reduce global CO2 emissions by up to 13  %,’ said Minister of Climate and Environment Tina Sundtoft. She is seeking to ensure that fossil fuel subsidy reform is a topic in the international climate negotiations.  

Norway participates in a number of international organisations that are working to analyse, map and estimate the scale of fossil fuel subsidies.  

‘Norway will give priority to the work being carried out by the International Energy Agency and the OECD. Their analyses show why fossil fuel subsidy reform is good policy. Moreover, these organisations offer advice and suggestions as to how reform in this area can be implemented,’ said Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien.  

Read the strategy here (Norwegian only)