Environmentally-friendly transport

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher

The transport sector accounts for one third of the greenhouse gas emissions in Norway and traffic volume is steadily increasing. The emissions must be sharply reduced if Norway's goal of being a low-emission society in 2050 is to be realised.

Most transport projections indicate that traffic volume will rise in the future. The projections on which the National Transport Plan for 2014-2023 are based indicate that passenger traffic in Norway will rise by one per cent per year in the period from 2010 to 2060, while domestic freight traffic is calculated to increase by 1.6 per cent per year in the period from 2008 to 2043.

The transport sector today contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, noise, air pollution and the depletion of natural diversity. Extending, operating and maintaining today's transport system contributes to the loss and deterioration of habitats for plants and animals.

There are three principal ways to make transport more environmentally-friendly:

  • Reduce the need for transport
  • Shift to more environmentally-friendly forms of transport
  • Use new and emission-reducing technology

Goals for more environmentally-friendly transport from the agreement on climate policy

Through the agreement on climate policy the Storting established a number of goals for the transport sector. For example, new cars must not emit more than 85 grams/km in 2020. All increase in transport around the major cities will be absorbed by public transport, bicycles and walking. A larger proportion of freight transport will be transferred from roads to the sea and railways. These are vital goals for the Government to follow up.

As part of the reorganisation of the one-off registration tax in 2007, the tax rates on cylinder capacity were replaced by tax rates on CO2 emissions. This has made it more profitable to buy cars with lower emissions, and the change has had a large impact on the sale of new cars. Emissions per motor vehicle have been falling every year since 2006. In 2014 the average emissions are 110 grams of CO2/km.

World leader in the use of electric cars

Sales of electric cars in Norway have stabilised at a very high level compared with other countries. 13 per cent of all new cars sold in 2014 have been electric cars. This is three times as many as the year before. Sales of rechargeable hybrid cars have increased tenfold from 2013 to 2014.

Shipping is changing

Shipowners all around the world must now make investment decisions in which they are compelled to take a position on what type of engine technology they will choose when building new ships. Gas ships, electric ferries and hybrid solutions are now being built alongside conventional vessels powered by heavy fuel oil. More regulations and stricter emission requirements may make investments in traditional fossil technology unprofitable. 

The world's first electric car ferry is entering service from January 2015 as a result of stringent environmental requirements in the competitive tendering process. The ferry was built in Norway.