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Norway submits climate action plan, targets 2030

Norway on Friday March 27, 2015 submitted its 2030 climate target to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In December this year, a new global climate agreement is to be concluded at the UN Climate Conference in Paris.

Norway's climate and environment minister, Tine Sundtoft. Photo credit: www.regjeringen.no

Norway’s climate and environment minister, Tine Sundtoft. Photo credit: www.regjeringen.no

All countries are invited to submit their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), containing emissions reductions targets, well in advance of Paris and by March 2015 for those ready to do so. Norway is the third to submit its intended contribution, after Switzerland and the EU.

According to Norwegian officials, the nation is committed to a target of an at least 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Norway’s INDC comes well in advance of a new universal climate change agreement which will be reached at the UN climate conference in Paris in December this year. All submitted INDCs are available on the UNFCCC website.

Including the Norwegian submission, 31 parties to the UNFCCC have formally submitted their INDCs. This includes all the countries under the European Union plus the European Commission and Switzerland.

The Paris agreement will come into effect in 2020, empowering all countries to act to prevent average global temperatures rising above 2 degrees Celsius and to reap the many opportunities that arise from a necessary global transformation to clean and sustainable development.

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Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, is encouraging countries to come forward with their INDCs as soon as they are able, underlining their commitment and support towards this successful outcome in Paris.

Governments agreed to submit their INDCs in advance of Paris. Developed countries are expected to do so as soon as possible and some bigger developing countries are also likely to submit their INDCs well in advance.

INDCs have been chosen as the vehicle for national contributions to the international Paris agreement. They include, for example, details of emission reductions the country will undertake and can include other action plans covering areas such as adaptation to climate change.

Countries have agreed that there will be no back-tracking in these national climate plans, meaning that the level of ambition to reduce emissions will increase over time.

Countries under the UNFCCC have already finalised the negotiating text for the Paris agreement. The next round of formal negotiations will take place at UNFCCC headquarters in Bonn, Germany, in June.

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All information such as documentation on designing and preparing INDCs as well as on sources of support for INDC preparation, is available here.

Norwegians believe that, to have a successful outcome of the Climate Conference in Paris, it is important that countries submit their contributions on emission reductions well in advance of the meeting, and that they are ambitious.

“Our target is well in line with the emission reductions that are needed to met the two degree target. I am very pleased that Norway can keep to the deadline,” says climate and environment minister, Tine Sundtoft.

According to the minister, the aim is to fulfil the emission reduction target as a collective delivery with the EU and its member states.

Sundtoft adds: “Around 50% of Norway’s emissions are already covered by the emission trading system (ETS) of the EU. In addition, a national target for emission reductions will be established for sectors outside the ETS. Norway will enter into a dialogue with the EU on an agreement for the collective delivery of the climate target. If there is no agreement on a collective delivery with the EU, Norway will fulfil the commitment independently. The ambition level of at least 40 % reduction will remain the same.

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“We need more international cooperation to meet the climate challenge. A collective delivery for Norway and the EU on climate change is a step in the right direction. Both Norway and the EU have high ambitions on climate, and view climate measures in the context of long term transition to low emission societies. By linking our climate efforts, we can achieve better results.

“The solution with the EU means that the 40% emission reduction will be implemented in Europe, without the use of international market mechanisms outside of the EU and Norway. If it can contribute to a global and ambitious climate agreement in Paris, Norway will consider taking a commitment beyond an emission reduction of 40% compared to 1990 levels, through the use of flexible mechanisms under the UN framework convention, beyond a collective delivery with the EU

“It is important that the Paris climate agreement includes market based mechanisms. By using the market, countries can raise ambitions collectively.”

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