Press release | Published: 2006-03-24
The Norwegian government has decided to allow linking of its domestic emissions trading scheme with the EU version through the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement. Such linking would make it possible to transfer allowances between companies in Norway and in EU countries.
The Norwegian Government accepts to include the EU Emissions Trading Directive in the EEA agreement
The Norwegian government has decided to allow linking of its domestic emissions trading scheme with the EU version through the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement. Such linking would make it possible to transfer allowances between companies in Norway and in EU countries. This move by the Norwegian government does, however, not mean that the issue is solved. Inclusion in the EEA agreement will depend on approval from Iceland and Liechtenstein.
"Both EU and Norway are in the front end of moving the climate issue. Our systems for emissions trading are the only ones of their kind. It is obvious that we should cooperate across borders through such measures", says Minister of Environment Helen Bjørnøy.
If the Emissions Trading Directive is incorporated in the EEA agreement, it implies that the offshore oil and gas sector as well as companies producing pulp and paper will be included in the trading scheme from 2008, along with those already covered in the period 2005-2007. From 2008 the trading sector will represent more than 40 per cent of Norwegian emissions of greenhouse gases. The Directive does not, however, stand in the way for applying other policies and measures such as carbon taxes or technological requirements.
"The government's decision is of great importance to the companies covered by the scheme. This is important in the work of developing a policy that brings Norway on track to meet its Kyoto obligations," Helen Bjornoy says.
Both Norway's and the European trading schemes were launched on 1 January 2005. The European Emissions Trading Scheme is seen as the most important measure at the Community level to implement the EU's obligations to reduce emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.