We rate Norway’s unconditional NDC “Insufficient.” The “Insufficient” rating indicates that Norway’s climate commitment is not consistent with holding warming to below 2°C, let alone limiting it to 1.5°C as required under the Paris Agreement, and is instead consistent with warming between 2°C and 3°C. If all countries were to follow Norway’s approach, warming would reach over 2°C and up to 3°C. This means Norway’s unconditional climate commitment is at the least stringent end of what would be a fair share of global effort, and is not consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit, unless other countries make much deeper reductions and comparably greater effort.
Norway’s conditional target of climate neutrality by 2030 falls between two categories: “Insufficient” and “2°C Compatible”. The Paris Agreement requires global GHG emissions to peak as soon as possible “and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of [GHGs] in the second half of this century” (Paris Agreement, Article 4). Norway has set this target for itself for 2030, while the Paris Agreement requires it globally only for the second half of the century. We therefore rate its climate neutrality target “2°C compatible”.
The CAT ratings are based on climate commitments in NDCs. If the CAT were to rate Norway’s projected emissions levels in 2018 under current policies, we would rate Norway “Highly insufficient,” indicating that Norway’s current policies in 2018 are not consistent with holding warming to below 2°C, let alone limiting it to 1.5°C as required under the Paris Agreement, and are instead consistent with warming between 3°C and 4°C: if all countries were to follow Norway’s approach, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C. This means Norway’s current policies are not in line with any interpretation of a “fair” approach to the former 2°C goal, let alone the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.
In its NDC, Norway argues that “it is doing its fair share for the global goal of keeping global warming below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels” and sources this to the IPCC AR5 results: “(A)n emissions reduction target of 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 is at the high end of emission reductions that should be implemented by OECD-countries, given a global cost-effective, regional distribution of emission reduction targets (IPCC WGIII, table 6.4).” This appears to reflect a misunderstanding of the global cost-effective emissions pathways, which do not include equity and fairness assumptions, but simply reflect where emissions reductions are most cost-effective. Cost-effectiveness itself is not a measure of equity and fairness of effort and hence of allocation of emission effort, but rather an economic principle to be applied after an emission effort allocation has been made.
Further information about the risks and impacts associated with the temperature levels of each of the categories.