Did you know that Norway is one of the world’s leading exporters of crude oil? Did you also know that this beautiful country is considered one of the top 20 “greenest”, most eco-friendly countries of 2016?
These two facts may seem to be in contrast to each other, but they’re true. Even though Norway’s oil and gas production tops more than a million barrels every day, the country can also boast of sustainable, clean cities and amazing natural phenomena, including mountains, glaciers, moors, fjords, rivers and miles of forests. And Norwegians aim to keep their good thing going. Here’s how:
• Recently the Norwegian Parliament approved a goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030, a whopping 20 years earlier than originally planned. To achieve this goal, members of Parliament voted in June to accelerate cuts in CO2 emissions and to boost carbon trading in order to offset emissions from Norway’s oil and gas industries.
• Currently, more than 95% of Norway’s electricity is generated from hydropower plants. Norway could cut emissions even more by supplying electricity from its national grid to offshore oil and gas platforms to reduce their use of gas turbines.
•. To make transporting goods across the fjords of Norway more environmentally friendly, the government has begun feasibility studies to develop the world’s first fleet of coastal vessels run entirely on electric power. Using the same technology as electric cars, the ships will use a storage container-sized battery, or a combination of battery power and a cleaner-burning fuel, like liquid natural gas (LNG).
• Speaking of electric cars, Norway has proposed that by 2025 (just nine years from now) only electric cars will be sold within its borders. This would mean fewer gas and diesel-fueled cars on the roadways and therefore fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
• Norway is also the first country to ban public procurements that contribute to rainforest destruction. In other words, the government will no longer award contracts to any company that cuts down and destroys forests. The ban includes products linked to rainforest deforestation such as tropical timber, soy and palm oil.
City tram in Kontraskjæret Station Oslo, Norway