Norway’s Eighth National Communication

Til innholdsfortegnelse

1 Executive summary

This report is Norway’s eighth national communication on national circumstances, policies and measures related to climate change under the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The previous national communications were submitted in 1994, 1997, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 respectively. The latest National Inventory Report (NIR) for greenhouse gases was submitted in April 2022. Norway ratified the UNFCCC on 9 July 1993, the Kyoto Protocol on 30 May 2002 and became a Party when the Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005, ratified the Doha amendment in June 2014 and the Paris Agreement on 20 June 2016.

1.1 National circumstances

Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a democratic parliamentary system of governance. The current Government (the Støre Government) took power in October 2021. It is a minority coalition between the Labour Party and the Centre Party. The Storting (Norwegian parliament) determines Norway’s overall climate policy and the government implements and administers the policies and measures.

Norway is part of the European Union’s internal market through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA Agreement) since 1994. The objective of the EEA Agreement is to strengthen trade and economic relations between the EEA/EFTA States and the EU Member States, based on level playing field throughout the EEA. The Agreement gives the EFTA countries opportunities to influence EU policy making also in areas of relevance to the internal market, including environmental policies.

With a total area of almost 324 000 km2 and only 5.5 million inhabitants, Norway has the lowest population density in Europe after Iceland and Russia. The large majority of the Norwegian population is settled along the coast and the fjords, and an increasing percentage, at present about 80 per cent of the population, lives in urban settlements.

Norway is a small, open economy. In 2021, exports constituted about 46 per cent of GDP. Together with foreign shipping, the production of crude oil and natural gas account for about a fourth of GDP in Norway, but only a small proportion of employment. Around 35 per cent are employed in the public sector.

Emission intensity fell by 2.2 per cent annually from 1990 to 2021. An even more marked decline has occurred in the mainland economy, where emissions per produced unit have dropped by 3.0 per cent annually. Greenhouse gas emissions relative to GDP normally decline as scarce resources are utilized more efficiently. Use of taxes or quotas on emissions, resulting in higher energy costs, reinforce this trend. Norway introduced a CO2 tax as early as 1991. This tax has subsequently been supplemented by the participation of Norwegian installations in the EU’s emissions trading system. About 85 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions in Norway are subject to economic instruments. The use of economic instruments has contributed to the significant decline in emission intensity.

The mainland of Norway is 1 752 km from north to south, spanning about 13 degrees of latitude. The mainland coastline is more than 2 500 km long, excluding fjords and bays. In the east, Norway shares borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia. In addition, the Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard is under Norwegian jurisdiction. Emissions from Norwegian activities in Svalbard are included in the Norwegian emission inventories. The long and narrow shape of Norway is accompanied by wide variations in climate, geology and topography. This gives large variation in conditions for land use. Only about 30 per cent of the land area is lowland below 300 meters, and this is where most people live and where agricultural production is most intensive. As much as 20 per cent of the land area is mountainous areas more than 900 meters above sea level. Agricultural areas account for only 3 per cent of the mainland, while about 37 per cent is covered by forest. The remaining area consists of other cultivated and developed land, scrub, and heath along the coast, mountain forest and marginal forest, and sparsely vegetated mountains and mountain plateaus.

Because of the influence of the North Atlantic Ocean, Norway has a much warmer climate than its latitudinal position would indicate. Therefore, most of Norway has a maritime climate with relatively mild winters and cool summers. On an annual basis, the highest normal (1991–2020) annual air temperatures, (up to 8.6°C) are found along the south-western coast (see Figure 2.2). Outside the mountain regions, the lowest annual mean temperatures (down to -1,9°C) are found on the Finnmark Plateau. During winter, the coast from Lindesnes to Lofoten has normal monthly mean temperatures above 0°C. The absolute lowest and highest temperatures measured at official weather stations on the mainland are -51.4°C and +35.6°C, respectively.

Norway is in a unique position as regards renewable energy. Nearly all of Norway’s electricity production is based on renewable energy sources, and the proportion of energy use accounted for by electricity is considerably higher than in most other countries. Historically, access to reasonably priced hydropower has shaped the energy use in Norway. Norway has a large energy-intensive manufacturing sector, and electricity is more widely used to heat buildings and water than in most other countries. Because renewable energy is the main source of energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions associated with stationary energy use are low in Mainland-Norway.

Electricity is the dominant energy carrier, followed by petroleum products. Electricity dominates energy use in manufacturing, the household sector and service industries, while petroleum products account for a large proportion of energy use in sectors that make heavy use of transportation and machinery. District heating and natural gas account for only a small share of energy use, but this has been increasing in recent years.

Norway’s decentralised settlement gives rise to a relatively high demand for transport. In addition, the Norwegian economy is largely based on the extraction of raw materials and exports of goods, which means that there is a large volume of goods transport. The demand for rapid transport and more frequent deliveries of goods has also been increasing. The proportion of passenger transport by car and the proportion of goods transport by road and air have increased since 1990. About one third of the total Norwegian greenhouse gas emissions originated from transport in 2020. Road traffic was responsible for most of these emissions (17 per cent of total emissions in Norway in 2020), while domestic civil aviation, domestic navigation, railways and other means of transport were responsible for the rest. In the period from 1990 to 2020, greenhouse gas emissions from road transport increased by around 13 per cent, while emissions from domestic aviation, domestic navigation, railways and other means of transport increased by 37 per cent.

The emissions from the Norwegian road transport sector were approximately 12.8 per cent above 1990-levels in 2020. Road traffic emissions have decreased since 2015. The decrease is caused by a decrease in the use of fossil fuels. The use of diesel has decreased by 16 per cent and the use of gasoline has decreased by 26 per cent from 2015 to 2020. Fossil fuels have been replaced by biofuels, and the use of biofuels is one of the drivers behind the decrease in road transport emissions. The use of biofuels has increased by 171 per cent between 2015 and 2020.

The use of zero-emission vehicles is another important explanation behind the decreased road transport emissions in Norway. Statistics show that total mileage with diesel/gasoline vehicles has decreased by 6 per cent from 2005 to 2020, while the total electric vehicle (EV) mileage has increased by 435 per cent. Total EV mileage accounted for 10 per cent of the total mileage in 2020 and 12 per cent of the total passenger car mileage.

A considerable part of Norwegian manufacturing industries is based on natural resources. The historic availability of low-cost hydro power created a basis for the establishment of metal and fertilizer production. Some chemical production is based on the petroleum resources. Production of pulp and paper derived from the forest resources has also been considerable, and the fisheries have also given a base for industry. Norwegian industry therefore has a high share of production of raw materials and semi-manufactured goods including iron and steel, non-ferrous metals, chemicals, fertilisers, pulp and paper, mineral industries, food processing industries, building and construction industry.

The waste sector accounted for 2.8 per cent of the national GHG emissions in 2020. Most of the emissions from the waste sector originate from solid waste disposal on land. Economic growth, or growth in production and consumption, is the key driver behind the growing waste volume. Even though the total amount of waste generated has increased, GHG emissions from the waste sector have generally decreased since 1990. This is due to the increase in material recycling and the ban issued in 2009 on disposing biodegradable waste to landfill. The central government authorities set the general framework, while municipalities and industry are responsible for waste collection and treatment.

There were a little less than 4.3 million buildings in Norway in 2021. The number of buildings in 2021 was 9 per cent higher than in 2010 and 24 per cent higher than in 2000. There were a little less than 1.6 million residential buildings in 2021. Of the about 2.7 million non-residential buildings in 2021, 72 per cent were classified as holiday house, garage linked to dwelling etc. Other important types of non-residential buildings are agricultural and fishery buildings (19 per cent) and industrial buildings (4 per cent). About 4.4 million, or a little more than 82 per cent of the residents in Norway lived in urban settlements in 2021. The urban population has increased by 50 per cent since 1990, 31 per cent since 2000 and 14 per cent since 2011.

Approximately 3 per cent of Norway’s land area is cultivated soil. The most suitable lands, approximately 1 per cent, is mostly allocated to arable crops, while grassland and ruminant livestock are allocated to regions less suitable for arable crops. While cultivated soil is a scarce resource in Norway, in addition there is extensive land that is suitable for pasture and used extensively by reindeer husbandry and other ruminant livestock.

Forest and wooded land cover about 12 million hectares and constitute approximately 38 per cent of the land area in Norway. The most widespread species are Norway spruce (47 per cent), Scots pine (33 per cent) and birch (18 per cent). Approximately 88 per cent – that is 120 000 properties – of the forest area is privately owned. Most of the forest holdings are farm and family forests.

Fishing has always been an important basis for settlement and employment along the Norwegian coast. The Norwegian fishing and aquaculture industries are among Norway’s most important export industries today, currently supplying seafood to consumers in more than 130 countries worldwide.

1.2 Greenhouse gas inventory information

Norway’s national greenhouse gas inventory covers emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) from 1990 to 2020. Norway prepares its National Inventory Reports (NIR) in accordance with the UNFCCC Reporting Guidelines, and generally, the estimation methods follow the Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The UNFCCC reviews all parties’ NIRs and emission inventories every year. The latest inventory with the NIR and Common Reporting Format (CRF) covering the years 1990–2020 was submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat on April 8th, 2022.

The total emissions of greenhouse gases, measured as CO2 equivalents, were about 49.3 million tonnes in 2020, and a preliminary total for 2021 from Statistics Norway is 49.1 million tonnes. Between 1996 and 2011, emissions exceeded 54 million tonnes CO2 equivalents in all years except in 2009, which was a special year as the economy was set back by the financial crisis. Emissions peaked at 56.6 million tonnes in 2007. Since 2009, emissions have stayed below 55 million tonnes CO2 equivalents. Since 2015, total emissions have gone down, mainly caused by decreased emissions in the energy sector, especially within the transport and oil and gas sector. Much of this reduction is due to a 18.5 per cent reduction in road transport emissions from 2015 to 2022. The reduction in road transport emissions can be explained by more efficient vehicles, more electric vehicles, and increased use of biofuels.

Norway also monitors emissions of black carbon and organic carbon as well given that these particles have an effect on the climate system as well as on public health. The UNFCCC does not regulate black carbon and it is not included it in Norway’s inventory reported to the UNFCCC. For more details, see box 3.1.

1.3 Policies and measures

Norway’s climate policy is based on the objective of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. The scientific understanding of the greenhouse effect set out in the reports from IPCC is an important factor in developing climate policy. Thus, the policies and measures reported are seen as modifying long-term trends in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removals.

Climate change and emissions of greenhouse gases have featured on the Norwegian policy agenda since the late 1980s. Today, Norway has a comprehensive set of measures covering almost all emissions of greenhouse gases as well as removals. Norway overachieved the commitment for 2008–2012 under the Kyoto Protocol by about 13 per cent and implements its commitments for 2013–2020, having ratified the Doha amendment 12 June 2014.

On 14 June 2016, the Storting (Norwegian parliament) gave its consent to Norway’s ratification of the Paris Agreement, and on 20 June the same year, Norway ratified the agreement. Norway has through its National Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement committed to a conditional target of at least 55 per cent emission reduction by 2030 compared to 1990. Norway’s intention is to fulfil this target jointly with the EU.

In June 2017, the Storting adopted a Climate Change Act (Lov om klimamål) which establishes by law Norway’s emission reduction target for 2030 and 2050. The act will have an overarching function in addition to existing environmental legislation. The Climate Change Act introduces a system of five-year reviews of Norway’s climate targets, based on the same principle as the Paris Agreement. In addition, the act introduces an annual reporting mechanism. The Government shall each year submit to the Parliament updated information on status and progress in achieving the climate targets under the law, and how Norway prepares for and adapts to climate change. Information on the expected effects of the proposed budget on greenhouse gas emissions and projections of emissions and removals are also compulsory elements of the annual reporting mechanism.

The Støre Government presented a climate status and plan in a separate attachment to Prop. 1 S (2022–2023) in October 2022. The climate status and plan will be updated annually and summarises the government’s climate policy, see box 4.2. The climate status and plan has not yet been debated by the Norwegian Parliament.

The polluter pays principle is a cornerstone of the Norwegian policy framework on climate change. Policies should be designed to yield the greatest possible emission reductions relative to cost and should result in emission reductions both in Norway and abroad. Furthermore, our policy will be based on the responsibility to help safeguard the planet and on the precautionary principle.

General policy instruments are a key element of domestic climate policy. Cross-sectoral economic policy instruments that put a price on emissions (i.e. the taxes on emissions of greenhouse gasses and the EU emission trading system) form the basis for decentralised, cost-effective and informed actions, where the polluter pays. As a main rule, areas subject to general policy instruments, should not be subject to additional regulation. For non-ETS emissions, taxes on greenhouse gases is the main mitigation measure. If the tax is not considered to be an adequate or appropriate instrument, other instruments that reduce emissions will be considered, including direct regulation under the Pollution Control Act and voluntary agreements. Norway also employs biofuel sales mandates as an important policy instrument for reducing ESR emissions.

Over the last ten years, the scope of Norwegian carbon pricing has steadily increased. Close to 85 per cent of domestic greenhouse gas emissions are from 2022 either covered by the emissions trading scheme or taxes on greenhouse emissions. The level of carbon pricing is also among the highest in the world, with over 80 per cent of emissions being priced at or above approximately 80 USD in 2022. There is also a broad political consensus on increasing the taxes on ESR emissions to above USD 200 in 2030, and to continue the participation in the EU-ETS.

The overall national climate policy is decided by the Storting, and the government implements and administers the most important policies and measures, such as economic instruments and direct regulations. Most policies and measures in the area of climate policy are developed through interministerial processes before the political proposals are tabled. The Ministry of Climate and Environment has the overarching cross-sectoral responsibility for co-ordination and implementation of the Norwegian climate policy. It also operates the Norwegian carbon credit procurement program. The Ministry of Finance is responsible for the tax schemes. The other ministries are responsible for policies in their respective sectors.

Cross-sectoral policies and measures

Close to 85 per cent of Norway’s domestic emissions is subject to mandatory emissions trading or a tax on greenhouse gases, or both. CO2 taxes were introduced in 1991 as a step towards a cost-effective policy to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. In 2022, the standard tax rate on ESR emissions is 766 NOK per tonne CO2 and is levied on most uses of mineral oils, petrol and diesel, natural gas, LPG and HFC/PFC. The price on greenhouse gas emissions varies between sectors and sources. The price on emissions is highest in the petroleum sector and in domestic aviation, which are also part of EU ETS. Both sectors are subject to taxes in addition to the EU ETS, and the total price on emissions is about NOK 1 500 in 2022. Agriculture is not a part of the EU ETS, nor is it subject to tax on emissions of methane or nitrous oxide. However, standard rates of CO2 tax and base tax on mineral oils apply to agriculture.

Norway established a national emissions trading scheme in 2005. The scheme closely resembled the EU’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) and covered 11 per cent of total Norwegian greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from industry. Emissions already subject to CO2 tax were not included in the scheme. From 2008 Norway became part of EU ETS phase II, which broadened the scheme to cover nearly 40 per cent of Norwegian greenhouse gas emissions. The petroleum sector and emissions from industries that had previously been subject to CO2 taxes were included in the EU ETS at that stage. In addition to the sectors included in the EU ETS, Norway decided unilaterally in February 2009 (effective from 1 July 2008) to include nitrous oxide emissions from the production of nitric acid in Norway. Such emissions constituted about 4 per cent of Norwegian greenhouse gas emissions in 2005.

Starting from 2012, the aviation sector was also included in the scope of the EU ETS. From 2013, phase III (2013–2020), the coverage of the EU ETS was further expanded, covering both new sectors (production of aluminium, petrochemical industry, mineral wool, ferroalloys, CCS) and gases (PFCs). From 2013, about 50 per cent of the Norwegian emissions are covered by the EU ETS. From 2021, phase IV (2021–2030), there is no change in the coverage of sectors and gases compared to phase III for stationary installations. Emissions covered by the EU ETS in this phase amounts to about 50 per cent of the Norwegian emissions.

There are a number of other cross-sectoral policies and measures. The Pollution Control Act lays down a general prohibition against pollution. Pollution is prohibited unless one has a specific permission to pollute according to law or a decision made by the relevant authority. The Pollution Control Act applies also to greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions are however to a large extent covered by other specific policy instruments such as the CO2 tax, the EU ETS and specific agreements with the industry on reduction of emissions. The Planning and Building Act sets the framework for the planning and use of land areas and building requirements. Enova is a state-owned enterprise, owned by the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

In 2016, a financial support scheme was introduced to promote emissions reduction projects in Norwegian municipalities and counties. The scheme is called Klimasats and is administered by the Norwegian Environment Agency that assesses and prioritises the applications based on given criteria. The objective of Klimasats is to reduce emissions at the local level and contribute to the transition to a low emission society.

Petroleum activities

A CO2 offshore tax regime was introduced in 1991. The tax regime includes emissions from burning of natural gas and oil and venting in the production phase on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. From 2008 offshore activities were included in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). More than 90 per cent of the emissions from the sector are covered by the EU ETS. In addition, most of the emissions from the sector is subject to the offshore CO2 tax.

The CO2 tax on petroleum activities has been the most important instrument for reducing emissions in the petroleum sector to date, and the impact has been significant. The CO2 tax and regulations under the Pollution Control Act have resulted in improvements in technology and emission-reducing measures such as the CO2 storage projects at Sleipner (including Gudrun) and Snøhvit, and the replacement of gas turbines with electricity from the onshore power grid. Since the power production system in Norway is based on hydro power (96 per cent in 2016), providing power supply from the mainland to offshore installations results in significantly lower national emissions compared with using offshore gas turbines.

Carbon capture and storage

CCS comprises capture, transport and permanent geological storage of CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel combustion, industrial production and waste incineration. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), CCS is a key measure for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Technology development in an international perspective and ways of reducing costs are key to the deployment of CCS at a global scale.

Norway has demonstrated experience with safe and secure CCS. Since 1996, CO2 from natural gas production on the Norwegian Continental shelf has been captured and reinjected into sub-seabed formations in the Sleipner and Snøhvit petroleum fields.

A full-scale CCS demonstration project, Longship, for capture, transport and storage of CO2 is under development in Norway. The Longship project is a central part of the Norwegian government’s policy for CO2-management, and of Norway’s contribution to developing necessary climate technologies. The project consists of two Norwegian CO2 capture facilities, Hafslund Oslo Celsio (waste incineration) and Norcem (cement), and a CO2 transport and storage project, The Northern Lights (Equinor, Shell and Total). The permanent storage will take place on the Norwegian continental shelf. Northern Lights is engaging with industrial emitters around the North Sea to enlarge the project in a possible next phase.

Energy and transformation industries

About 98 per cent of electricity generation in Norway is based on renewables. Hydropower constitutes about 89 per cent of the electricity generation. In addition, wind power contributes with approximately 9 per cent of the energy generation (normal year average). Norway’s thermal power plants account for about 1.5 per cent of total production capacity. The legal framework encompasses statutes and regulations concerning public ownership of hydropower resources, licenses for the construction and operation of installations and regulations of the power market. The legislation is intended to ensure effective management of resources, and to ensure that various user and environmental interests are heard and considered. A tax on electricity consumption was introduced in 1951. At present an excise duty is levied on electricity supplied in Norway. The excise duty on electricity is mainly a fiscal tax. Since the majority of the stationary energy consumption in Norway is based on electricity generated from hydropower, emissions from energy consumption are very low in Norway compared to most other countries. Energy efficiency measures and new renewable capacity will therefore have limited effect on emissions in Norway.

The EU renewable energy directive (2009/28/EC) is incorporated into the EEA Agreement. The Norwegian target for renewable energy share is 67.5 per cent by 2020. Norway reported a 77.4 per cent of renewable energy in 2020. A common Norwegian-Swedish market for electricity certificates was established 1 January 2012. The electricity certificate system is a market-based support scheme with the objective of increased renewable electricity production.

The excise duty on mineral oils, comprising mostly fuel oils, was introduced in 2000. Norway also has other energy-related taxes. Fuel oils, kerosene and natural gas are subject to CO2 tax. In June 2017, the Government put forward a regulation banning use of mineral oil for heating of buildings from 2020. By the end of 2021, a 53.3 TWh new annual production has been built under the joint Norwegian-Swedish electricity certification market. Norway has contributed with 19.1 TWh. At the end of 2021, the system was closed for new projects, but the electricity certification market will continue until 2035.

Enova is a state-owned enterprise, owned by the Ministry of Climate and Environment. Enova is managed by the ministry based on four-year rolling agreements. The Government has given Enova a clearer climate profile for the current four-year period, so that its purpose is to contribute to Norway’s emission reduction commitment and contribute to Norway’s transition to a low-emission society. Enova contributes to the development of technologies necessary towards 2030 and the low emission society in 2050. Enova provides funding and advice for climate and energy projects, and supports both companies and individual households, as well as local and regional governments. Funding for projects is drawn from the Climate and Energy Fund, which was provided NOK 4.1 billion in 2022. Enova’s activities focus on late-phase technology development and early-stage market introduction. Grants for late-phase technology development help to speed up the pace and scale of pilot and demonstration projects and full-scale testing, so that new technologies and solutions reach the market more quickly. Enova’s programs deal with technologies and solutions at various stages of maturity. During the innovation process from technology development to market introduction, the goal is to reduce costs and the level of technological risk. Once a solution is technologically mature and ready for market roll-out, the goal is to achieve widespread deployment and market take-up. It is always necessary to overcome various market barriers as a solution proceeds through technology development and market introduction. Enova seeks to identify the most important of these and designs its programmes for the introduction and deployment of energy and climate solutions to lower such barriers.


The transport sector accounts for about 1/3 of Norwegian greenhouse gas emissions, and around 2/3 of the ESR emissions. There are several measures in place that affect greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. The tax policy is central, and the most important measure is the CO2 tax, which is a cross-sectoral measure. In addition, the vehicle tax policy contributes to shifting vehicle demand towards low and zero emission vehicles. Norway also has a quota obligation for biofuels for road traffic, see chapter In addition, there are several other measures, such as Enova’s grant schemes, requirements in public procurement processes etc.


This sector covers primarily emissions from the manufacturing industry, including emissions from industrial processes. A number of policies and measures have been implemented over the years. From 2013, emissions from processes in the manufacturing industries are to a large extent covered by the EU ETS. Prior to the EU ETS, a number of agreements concerning the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions have been concluded between the industry and the Norwegian Government. HFCs are regulated through a tax and reimbursement scheme together with F-gas regulation and the Kigali Amendment.


Current policies and practices to control GHG emissions in Norwegian agriculture include a combination of regulatory, economic and informatory measures. CO2 from the use of fossil fuel in activities related to agriculture meets CO2-taxation similar to other sectors. The government has proposed a mandatory biofuels turnover for non-road machinery from 2023 and this will also include agricultural machinery, whereas the general ban on fossil fuels for heating buildings is imposed for agriculture from 2025. Emissions related to transport and energy are accounted for in other sectors. Direct emissions from agriculture are covered neither by the emissions trading system, nor subject to GHG taxation, rather they are covered by other measures.


A wide range of measures, including legislation, taxation, economic support schemes, research, extension services and administrative procedures, support the implementation of forest policy and mitigation actions. The current Forestry Act was adopted by the Norwegian Parliament in 2005 and entered into force in 2006. Its main objectives are to promote sustainable management of forest resources with a view to promote local and national economic development, and to secure biological diversity, consideration for the landscape, outdoor recreation and the cultural values associated with the forest. The Forestry Act also contributes to the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources. However, the measures implemented will also influence CO2 sequestration. The Forestry Act requires the forest owner to regenerate areas within three years after harvesting.


The main goal of the Norwegian waste policy is that waste is to cause the least possible harm to humans and the environment. The quantity of waste generated is to be considerably lower than the rate of economic growth, whilst rates for the preparing for reuse and recycling should rise. Furthermore, the amount of hazardous waste is to be reduced and hazardous waste is to be dealt with in an appropriate way. The measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are to a large extent concurrent with measures to increase recycling and recovery. The most important measures are: i) regulations under the Pollution Control Act, including the ban on depositing biodegradable waste in landfills and requirements regarding extraction of landfill gas (see below) and ii) extended producer responsibility for specific waste fractions. In general, targets set in EU waste directives, such as EU-targets for preparing for reuse and recycling of municipal waste, also apply for Norway owing to the EEA agreement.

1.4 Projections and the total effect of policies and measures

In the baseline scenario, total greenhouse gas emissions excluding LULUCF are projected to decline from the 2021 level to 38.6 Mt in 2030 and to continue this trend to 33.8 Mt in 2035. This is a “with measures” projection, based on policies and measures implemented as of midyear 2022. Emission reductions are foreseen both for emissions included in the EU ETS and for the ESR emissions.

New projections of removals and emissions from the LULUCF sector were published in October 2022. The projections cover removals and emissions of all greenhouse gases in the LULUCF sector from 2021 to 2100. The projections show that the total sink is expected to be reduced in the period 2021–2030. The projections indicate that the carbon sink capacity of the current forest stock has reached a peak. This is primarily due to a skewed age class structure of the Norwegian forest with 43 per cent mature stands.

There are considerable methodological difficulties in calculating the effect of policies and measures ex post, including establishing a hypothetical baseline and obtaining relevant data, and with multiple measures and policies covering the same emission sources. Nevertheless, effects are estimated for a number of policies and measures, including the most significant ones. According to the estimates, the GHG emissions in 2020 and the projected emissions in 2030 would be about 26 and 37 million tonnes CO2 equivalents higher respectively if policies and measures had not been implemented.

1.5 Vulnerability assessment, climate change impacts and adaptation measures

The Norwegian economy, environment and society are vulnerable to climate change. The Government has conducted several actions, in compliance with the requirements of UNFCCC, in order to prepare for climate change.

In 2010, the Official Norwegian Report NOU 2010: 10 Adapting to a changing climate was published. In this report, a committee appointed by the Government assessed Norway’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change and the need to adapt. The NOU incorporates many of the aspects described in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Technical Guidelines for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Handbook on Methods for Climate Change Impacts Assessment and Adaptation Strategies. Following publication of the NOU, a white paper on climate change adaptation, Meld. St. 33 (2012–2013) Climate change adaptation in Norway, was prepared and adopted by the Norwegian Parliament. The white paper outlines actions to be taken at various governmental levels and within sectors in order to adapt to a changing climate. In 2022, the Government announced that it will start working on a new strategy for climate change adaptation, from which a new white paper will result.

Since the release of Norway’s 7th National Communication in 2018, Norway has passed several milestones in its work related to climate change adaptation, and important progress has been made on local to national administrative levels and across different sectors. An NOU concerning climate risk and the Norwegian economy has been published, and central government planning guidelines on how to integrate climate change adaptation into municipal planning activities has been developed. Capacity building has been strengthened through networks, cooperation and other activities related to climate change adaptation. Climate change adaptation is also integrated into strategies and action plans within and across relevant sectors, such as in the recently adopted white paper Meld. St. 9 (2020–2021). Moreover, the Norwegian Parliament adopted a Climate Change Act in 2017, which includes reporting requirements related to adaptation to climate change. The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) of Norway recently assessed the work of the government authorities in adapting infrastructure and built-up areas to a changing climate, revealing that the Norwegian government authorities do not have the necessary overview of the risks of natural disasters in a future climate.

1.6 Research and systematic observation

The Norwegian government’s white paper Meld. St. 5 (2022–2023) Long-term plan for research and higher education 2023–2032 outlines the Government policy for research and higher education. The white paper identifies climate change as the defining challenge in the world today. The Government will scale up appropriations to research and higher education within six long-term priority areas: i) oceans and coastal areas, ii) climate, the environment and energy, iii) health enabling and industrial technologies, iv) social security and preparedness and v) trust and community.

International cooperation is a prerequisite for carrying out high-level research. Norway is part of the global knowledge development trend and participates extensively in international cooperation on research and education with countries throughout the world. Norway is participating in Horizon Europe, EUs Research and Innovation programme (2021–2027) and is well-integrated in the European collaboration on research and higher education. Norway has taken part in this competitive arena for more than 20 years. The Government states in the white paper that it will continue its work to stimulate institution-based, long-term international collaboration.

The most recent white paper on climate policy Meld. St. 13 (2020–2021) Norway’s climate action plan for 2021–2030, emphasizes the development of knowledge through research and innovation to combat climate change. The Government has, in line with the EU, a target that public funding of research and innovation should amount to 1 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). Since 2016, this target has been achieved, and in 2020 the amount was 1,15 per cent.

1.7 Financial resources and transfer of technology

The impacts of climate change are increasingly visible and felt around the world, especially in developing countries who are the most severely affected and the least equipped to respond to its consequences. The poorest and most vulnerable communities are experiencing the effects of climate change through extreme weather events such as floods, drought, hurricanes and sea level rise. Climate change has the potential to reverse significant development gains made in developing countries. Norway recognises the critical need for support to developing countries with respect to both climate mitigation and adaptation. In the period 2019–2020 Norway has continued to provide a wide range of financial, technological and capacity-building support to developing country Parties in order to build their capacity to reduce carbon emissions and to support adaptation to take action against the negative effects of climate change.

The Norwegian public climate finance amounted to USD 734 million (NOK 6 459 million) in 2019 and USD 706 million (NOK 6 646 million) in 2020. The majority of Norwegian climate finance is earmarked support, including bilateral contributions and earmarked contributions through multilateral institutions. In addition to the public climate financing, these interventions mobilised private climate relevant investments in developing countries. The private finance mobilised amounted to USD 16 million (NOK 145 million) in 2019 and USD 33 million (NOK 313 million) in 2020.

Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) supports global efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+). Forest and land use emissions are estimated to account for about 10 per cent of global net anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. It represents an even bigger part of the near-term potential solution by simultaneously halting forest loss and restoring forest lands. Forest and land use emissions are a necessary part of the solution of the ambitious target of the Paris-agreement of limiting the global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. This is also among the most cost-effective ways to mitigate climate change and contributes to most of the sustainable development goals.

From 2008 through 2020 Norway had disbursed 31 billion NOK through Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative and is committed to continue allocating NOK 3 billion a year. These funds are used to pay for verified emission reductions in partner countries, to finance efforts to build up global and national REDD frameworks, build satellite technology to monitor global forests in real time, and to support civil society and indigenous peoples around the world.

1.8 Education, training and public awareness

The text of the Convention on Climate Change refers directly to education, training and public awareness, and these issues have been important elements of the Norwegian climate policy since the 1990s. Several activities have been initiated to give the general public a better understanding of climate change and its effects. This in turn should result in support for policy measures to deal with climate change and also encourage public participation in climate-related measures; in accordance with national policy for the green shift.

The Ministry of Education and Research is working closely across departments and ministries on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals at the national and global level. Each year, the ministry reports on progress for the SDGs to the Norwegian parliament, in the budget proposal. The Ministry of Education and Research is responsible for the national coordination of SDG 4: Quality Education and is cooperating closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the follow-up of SDG 4 internationally. Norway is an active supporter of UNESCOs leading role in the global coordination of SDG 4. In an effort towards strengthening global academic and student mobility, Norway was the first country to ratify the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education in 2020.

Norway aims to achieve a high degree of transparency in environmental policymaking and implementation of regulations. Norwegian environmental authorities have a long tradition of including civil society in environmental policymaking. Norway provides annual financial support to a number of NGOs listed in the Government’s annual budget. The Ministry of Climate and Environment also provides financial support for Norwegian NGOs to participate in different international meetings. Norway also aims to involve NGOs in the preparations for such meetings, and to enable them to contribute actively during the meetings.

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