(3BL Media/Justmeans) - There was some dramatic news out of Norway, showing what is possible on the climate front if the political will is there. The Norwegian government announced that they would cut their carbon emissions by no less than 40% from 1990 levels by the year 2030. This puts them in line with the ambitious target set by the European Union (EU).
Norwayâs government says they want to join the EUâs climate policy framework, even though they arenât members of the EU. They will continue to participate in the EUâs carbon trading scheme, though they will no longer use offsets to meet their target, relying instead on actual reductions.
Despite being Europeâs largest oil producer and the worldâs third largest producer of natural gas, Norway relies mostly on renewables for its own domestic purposes. Abundant hydropower provides 97% of Norwayâs electricity. Much of the rest comes from wind and biomass. Norwayâs state energy company Statkraft, is the largest renewable energy generator in Europe. Given the countryâs wealth of renewable resources, some environment groups were disappointed that the target wasnât higher, but Frederic Hauge of the Oslo-based Bellona Foundation acknowledged that joining with the EU would make this target internationally binding.