From committing to zero deforestation in its public procurement and moving toward banning gas-powered cars, Norway has been making environmental headlines around the world. Now the oil-rich Nordic nation has taken perhaps its most significant climate action by pushing up the target of completely eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 20 years. The parliament’s energy and environment committee just agreed to move forward the country’s carbon neutral goal from 2050 to 2030.
The country had previously set the 2030 target in 2008 but the goal was pushed back to 2050 after a climate deal failed to be reached at the 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen. Norway reconsidered its zero emissions target following the historic agreement reached in Paris last year that was signed by nearly 200 nations.
“This should set an example for others,” said Lars Haltbrekken, chairman of Friends of the Earth Norway. “There is a big gap that needs to be closed to meet the new temperature targets and we need increased ambition by everyone.”
Norway already generates more than 95 percent of its electricity from hydropower, so the zero emissions target will likely be achieved in other ways such as purchasing carbon credits abroad and introducing more electric vehicles.