The government forwards a strategy for green competitiveness

A continuously stricter global climate policy and an ever faster technological development changes the overall conditions for Norwegian business. The strategy for green competitiveness, which the government presents today, will prepare Norway towards seizing the new opportunities that the green shift offers.

- We will reduce emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030. At the same time, we will create new jobs and ensure Norwegian value creation and welfare. The strategy for green competitiveness sets the direction for this change, says Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen.

The strategy defines seven principles for green competitiveness. These are principles that will form the basis for future policies. The first principle is that the authorities should provide predictable framework conditions and be driving forces in the work for the transition to a low-emission society.

Through public procurement, the state will contribute to the use and development of new environment- and climate-friendly technologies, products and solutions.

There will be a targeted focus on climate and environment, publicly funded research, innovation and technology development.

It will be easier for consumers, business and investors to have the necessary information in order to choose green solutions and products, and green competitiveness must be built on well-functioning markets.

The strategy also emphasizes the principle that the polluter pays. Pricing emissions will stimulate the development of new environmental technologies.

- The Government's strategy provides a comprehensive policy for green competitiveness. It provides the basis for business and industry throughout the country to take advantage of the opportunities that lie in the green shift, says Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen.

Norway is already ahead in the development of green competitiveness in several areas. The Government's commitment to electric ferries has led to value creation and innovation in the business community along the coast. Several international battery manufacturers in the maritime sector now have production in Norway.

New technology also increases the opportunities for growth in the aquaculture industry, and in Norwegian renewable energy resources. The Government's active policies also provide opportunities for the establishment of green data centers.

Physical climate change and lower demand for oil and gas can also create challenges for the Norwegian economy. Therefore, as part of the Green Competitiveness Strategy, the Government has set up an Expert Committee to identify expected important global climate-related risk factors and assess their importance for the Norwegian economy and its financial stability.

The strategy is the Government's follow-up of the recommendations of the Green Competitiveness Committee, which delivered its report last autumn.

Good cooperation with the business sector will be crucial in order to follow up the strategy for green competitiveness. The Government will therefore build upon the dynamics created by the work of the industry's own road map for green competitiveness.

Among other things, a new strategy forum for the processing industry, Prosess21, will be established. Furthermore, the Government's own climate council will continue to be a permanent meeting place for strategic discussions with industry on the transition to the low-emission society.

- The green shift provides opportunities for growth in new industries. The strategy for green competitiveness shows the way towards a zero-emission society, not a zero-growth society, says Vidar Helgesen.

Strengthening green competitiveness in the 2018 state budget

  • The government will make financing of Enova's business (energy restructuring) more targeted and predictable. As of 2018, it is therefore suggested that the return from the Climate and Energy Fund be replaced by ordinary appropriations that have been decoupled from the interest rate level. Total funding for Enova in 2018 will be approximately NOK 2.7 billion.
  • The government is working to create a new investment company that will contribute to reduced greenhouse gas emissions through investments in new technology. The company will receive an investment framework of NOK 400 million from 2018. The grants will be further expanded, depending on the company's business and investment opportunities.
  • The government has taken a proactive initiative to profile and visualize Norwegian green solutions for increased exports and to attract international investors to Norway. Innovation Norway has been commissioned to establish partnerships with private business, and the budget proposes NOK 10 million for this.
  • The Ministry of Climate and Environment's grant for research on low emissions and green competitiveness is to be strengthened by NOK 20 million in 2018. The investment is based on the NOK 71.5 million granted in 2017. In addition, the government proposes to allocate NOK 10 million to technology development for the future of bio economics and low-emission communities, via the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
  • A total of NOK 450 million is proposed for environmentally friendly energy research in 2018, via the budget of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. This is by the way of NOK 265 million to the ENERGIX program, NOK 177 million to Research Centers for Environmentally Friendly Energy (FME) and NOK 8 million for Strategic Energy Research.
  • The Government continues the subsidy scheme for municipal climate measures, Klimasats, and in 2018, financial support of approximately NOK 100 million is in the budget. The support goes to projects such as climate-friendly buildings, self-propelled buses and fast-chargers for electric taxis, etc. With this, the project Klimasats has been allocated around NOK 250 million over the last two years