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Photo: Svein Wiik, Scanpix.Photo: Svein Wiik, Scanpix

Climate and energy

Last updated: 10.03.2015 // Action to secure energy supplies and mitigate climate change is at the top of the European agenda. Norway and the EU share high ambitions in the field of climate policy. As one of the world’s largest energy exporters, Norway plays a significant role in European energy security.

Energy
Norway is fully integrated into the internal energy market under the EEA Agreement. Approximately one third of the natural gas imported to the EU originates from the Norwegian continental shelf, second in volume only to Russian gas. Norway is also one of the world’s largest producers of hydropower. There is extensive power trade between Norway and the neighbouring Nordic countries, as well as with continental Europe.

Building cross-border gas pipelines and high-voltage power lines between European countries can make the energy market more efficient, improve the security of energy supplies and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Cross-border power lines have advantages for all the countries involved. They give better use of electricity supply systems, more effective use of resources, greater security of supply and opportunities for greater integration of renewable energy into the supply system.

Norwegian natural gas can play an important role in Europe in the transition to a low-carbon economy. CO2 emissions can be reduced by replacing coal with gas. Gas can also be an important supplement to solar and wind power on days with little sun or wind.

Climate change
Norway and the EU are working together in the battle against global warming. Together with the EU, Norway plays an active role in support of a strong international climate agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in line with the two-degree target.

In February 2015, the Norwegian government presented a White Paper on a New Norwegian Commitment for the Period After 2020 proposing a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030, compared to the 1990 level. Norway will seek to join the EU 2030 framework for climate policies in order for Norway and the EU to jointly fulfil their climate targets.

Norway is fully integrated into the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). This is our main climate policy tool, covering almost 50 % of Norway’s greenhouse gas emissions (mostly industry). The ETS cap must be sufficiently tight and predictable in order to provide the necessary incentives for a low-emission future, spurring technology development and innovation.

An agreement between Norway and the EU on joint fulfilment of climate targets will imply cooperation on emissions also in the non-ETS sectors (like transport and agriculture). The EU is Norway’s most important collaborator and partner. A joint fulfilment with the EU allows for a more efficient climate policy and more predictable conditions for Norwegian businesses.

Norway is committed to promoting technology development and cost reductions in order to make carbon capture and storage (CCS) an economically viable option for mitigating climate change. The Norwegian strategy encompasses a wide range of activities, including the development of a large-scale carbon capture demonstration facility by 2020. Norway also stands ready to consider how the EEA and Norway Grants can fund CCS projects in Europe.

See also:
The Norwegian Government's Strategy for cooperation with the EU 2014 - 2017
Website: Ministry of Climate and Environment
Website: Ministry of Petroleum and Energy


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