UN Secretary General high-level event on Climate Goals

Statement by Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the United Nations General Assembly, 19 September 2017.

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Thank you for hosting this meeting, Secretary-General. And thanks also to colleagues for the opening remarks.

Let me add a few words about carbon pricing. Carbon pricing through taxation and emission trading systems has served my country well since Norway first introduced a carbon tax 25 years ago. We have been able to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in a cost-efficient way in many sectors of our economy. 

And we are not alone. Some 40 countries and more than 20 cities, states and provinces already use carbon pricing mechanisms, which together cover about half of their emissions. This translates into about 13 % of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. 

But much more can be done. Expanding the proportion of emissions subject to carbon pricing would be a big contribution to achieving a low-cost scenario in line with limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

The Transformative Carbon Asset Facility, which was announced at COP 21 in Paris, is now operational. Together with our partners and the World Bank, we can help bring about transformational change in many countries. Norway will continue to support steps to translate the concept of carbon pricing into concrete action on the ground.

Let me also stress the importance of reducing emissions from deforestation and enhancing removals of greenhouse gases through forest restoration. Effective action in these areas is indispensable if we are to reach the Paris climate objectives and the SDGs. Norway has played a leading role in this field for a decade, and stands ready to support a more ambitious global effort to promote sustainable forest management.

Different countries are frontrunners in various areas.  I strongly support the idea that we must demonstrate leadership by showcasing progress and sharing experience, with a view to further increasing our collective ambitions. I am therefore also pleased to announce that Norway will provide support to the Secretary General’s climate strategy and the newly established Climate Action Team.