About

Norway partnered with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition in 2012 and since then has worked to promote action on climate and clean air to reduce the rate of global warming in the near term – and drastically reduce air pollution at the same time.

“It is not irrelevant how we reach the Paris temperature targets. To succeed in the long term, we need to choose a path that will slow the rate of global warming in the near term,” said former Minister of Climate and the Environment Ola Elvestuen. “By reducing both short-lived climate pollutants such as methane, black carbon and HFCs and long-lived gases like CO2, we increase our chance of success.”

In 2017, Norway passed the Climate Act to help the country transition to a low-emission society by 2050 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030. Its work to reduce SLCPs has also been ambitious. Only modern, clean-burning wood stoves are sold, and in several municipalities public grants have helped to replace older wood burning stoves. Norway also has a tax and refund scheme to collect and safely destroy HFCs and a tax system encouraging the use of climate-friendly alternatives. It is illegal to dispose of organic waste in landfills, a law which both reduces methane emissions and helps create biogas to reduce diesel.

Ola Elvestuen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway

Ola Elvestuen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway
Ola Elvestuen, former Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway explains why countries must integrate actions on climate and air quality and Norway's targets to cut transport emissions. (video recorded Nov. 2019)

The capital city Oslo is also part of the CCAC’s BreatheLife campaign and just achieved the world’s highest concentration of electric cars. The government is also working on an action plan for making public transport fossil-free by 2025.

In a speech at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP25, in Madrid in 2019, Prime Minister Erna Solberg outlined the country’s work to electrify their car-parks and ferries and begin work on programmes for zero-emission transportation of goods saying that “green solutions are paving the way for new business opportunities and growth, as well as helping us to deal with climate threats.”

Enova SF is a state enterprise owned by the Ministry of Climate and Environment which has, since 2017, shifted more to climate-related activities that include fast-charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, zero and low-emissions ferries, and home heating efficiency.

Norway has already achieved its commitment under the revised Gothenburg Protocol of a 30 percent reduction in particulate matter (PM 2.5) emissions from 2005 levels, with PM2.5 reduced by about 34% in 2018 from 2005 levels.

Norway is close to the Arctic, making its black carbon emissions particularly crucial to mitigate given that a large portion lands on snow and glaciers and reduces their ability to reflect sunlight. In fact, the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, in no small part due to short-lived climate pollutants.

In 2017, the eight nation Arctic Council set a collective target to limit black carbon emissions between 25 and 33 percent below 2013 levels by 2025 to slow Arctic warming, a target recommended by the Council’s Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane. Norway also took over the chairmanship of the Arctic Contaminant Action Programme (ACAP) in 2019 saying in a statement that “Local emissions of soot particles and other short-lived climate polluters from petroleum activity, shipping and industries are contributing actively to warming and rapid melting in the Arctic.”

Read below for more highlights of Norway’s work.

CCAC activities

Activity | Health
Ongoing
BreatheLife is a global campaign that mobilizes cities and individuals to take action on air pollution to protect our health and the planet. The campaign is led by the World Health Organization (WHO...
BreatheLife

Other activities

Transport

Shipping

HFCs

  • Norway was the first industrialised country to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Norway has established a more stringent baseline for the phasedown of HFCs than the requirements stipulated in the agreement.
  • Norway has a tax and refund scheme for HFCs, incentivising the use of alternative substances and the proper destruction of HFCs.

Oil and Gas

  • In 2015, Norway endorsed and financially supported the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative which will help significantly reduce black carbon and methane emissions. Gas flaring, except flaring for safety reasons, has long been prohibited in Norway, and all routine flaring has been eliminated.
  • In 2017, guiding principles to reduce methane emissions across the natural gas value chain were collaboratively developed and signed by major oil industry companies, including Norwegian company Equinor (previously Statoil).

Residential Heating

Agriculture

  • Ongoing funding is provided for research work relating to the reduction of methane emissions from both enteric and soil sources.
  • In 2017, 15 million NOK was allocated to fund a genetic research project in the hopes of breeding cows with reduced methane production and other projects, including feed-composition research to reduce enteric methane.

Assessments

  • In 2020, the Norwegian Environment Agency published the report, Mitigation measure analysis 2030: Short-term climate effect and co-benefits. This analysis of climate effect in the short term (10-years) and health effects of measures to reduce greenhouse gases in the long term (100 years) showed that many of these measures have substantial climate effect both in the short and long term and give health benefits. This was particularly true for measures that reduce methane and black carbon, like eating less red meat, cutting emissions from wood burning and transport measures.
  • In 2018, the Norwegian Environment Agency published the report, Short-term climate effect and health effects of measures to reduce emissions of climate forcers in Norway. Unlike previous studies, this study assessed measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gases and short-lived climate forcers together. This type of analysis could assist in building a portfolio of measures that reduce the rate of warming in the near term and at the same time consider the long-term perspectives of the Paris agreement.
  • In 2016, the Norwegian Environment Agency published the report Climate mitigation measures up to 2030: Short term climate effects and health effects and found that the most important measures for both climate and health impacts are switching to electric and hydrogen vehicles; electrification of ferries and passenger ships; reduction in passenger car traffic in the larger towns and zero growth in the rest of the country.
  • In 2014, the Norwegian Environment Agency published a report on Black carbon and methane in the Norwegian Barents region detailing the effects of short-lived climate pollutants on this vulnerable Arctic region and proposing efforts to mitigate them, including using diesel particulate filters, pellet burning and other more efficient stoves, and converting manure and food waste into biogas.
  • In 2014, the Norwegian Environment Agency published the Summary of proposed action plan for Norwegian emissions of short-lived climate forcers in English.
  • In 2013, the Norwegian Environment Agency, on behalf of the Ministry of the Environment published a proposed national action plan for short-lived climate pollutants to comprehensively assess their climate and health impacts in Norway. At that time, some information was limited and it helped spur better monitoring, emissions inventories, climate modelling, and valuation of the health effects.

Bilateral Cooperation

  • The Norwegian Environment Agency is cooperating with the Chinese Research Academy for Environmental Sciences and the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning on a three-year capacity building project (2020-2022) to control black carbon emissions in Northern China. The project will strengthen the scientific knowledge on emissions, atmospheric processes, effects, and the co-benefits of reducing black carbon and organic carbon, and provide policy recommendations on emission reductions based on updated/new air quality and climate change information. The project will raise the general awareness amongst policy makers in China on air quality, health, and climate co-benefits of black carbon and organic carbon reductions, and improve capacity in China to control emissions. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health and CICERO (Centre for International Climate Research) are also participating in the project on the Norwegian side.
  • Norway and India are working together on a project called “Future Refrigeration India: INDEE+.” The project aims at supporting the Indian refrigeration and air conditioning sector in its transition towards more environmentally-friendly technology to achieve the goals of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

International Leadership
 

  • In 2019, Norway was instrumental to the decision by the IPCC-49 Plenary to produce an IPCC Methodology Report on Short-lived Climate Forcers. The work is now well under way, and Norway is contributing with funds and participation in expert meetings.
  • Norway served on the steering committee of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition between 2014-2020, holding the co-chairmainship from 2014-2015.
  • In 2019, Norway launched the first global noncommunicable disease strategy “Better Health, Better Lives: Combating Non-Communicable Diseases in the Context of Norwegian Development Policy (2020-2024),” highlighting air pollution as a risk factor and citing the CCAC’s BreatheLife campaign as an important way for countries to improve air pollution and endorse the World Health Organization initiative to improve air quality by 2030.
  • In 2019, as part of the Non-Communicable Disease strategy, Norway committed to promoting pollution-free cooking through its Renewable energy in Norwegian Development Policy.
  • In 2017, the Arctic Council, of which Norway is a member, signed the Fairbanks Declaration in response to the Arctic's dramatic rate of warming stating that “the pace and scale of continuing Arctic warming will depend on future emissions of greenhouse gases and short-lived climate pollutants” and committing to global action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants to mitigate climate change.

Related resources

Address

Ministry of Climate and the Environment, Myntgata 2, Postbox 8013 Dep
Oslo N-0030
Norway
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