Paris Agreement targets
Norway updated its NDC in February 2020 with the goal of reducing emissions by at least 50% and towards 55% below 1990 levels by 2030, up from its previous emission reduction target of 40% (Government of Norway, 2020b).
Norway intends to achieve this target in collaboration with the European Union. Norway will regulate emissions from all economic sectors through three pieces of legislation: the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, the EU Effort Sharing Regulation and the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Regulation. Under the LULUCF Regulation, Norway commits to no net emissions from the LULUCF sector between 2021 and 2030 (Government of Norway, 2020b). Further, Norway is permitted to use up to 1.6 MtCO2e in net removals from the land sector towards meeting its original NDC. Assuming this amount is unchanged as part of its NDC update, Norway’s emission reduction targets equate to 47-52% below 1990 levels by 2030 once these net removals are excluded.
We rate targets against what a country should be doing within its own borders based on modelled domestic pathways derived from global least cost pathways as well as what a fair contribution to achieving the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal would be. For the fair share target, we consider both its domestic reductions and any emissions it supports abroad through the use of market mechanisms or other ways of support. Further information on how the CAT rates countries (against modelled domestic pathways and fair share) can be found here.
Norway indicated that it may use voluntary cooperation under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement for part of its NDC target if the EU did not also update its target to the same level (Government of Norway, 2020b). In December 2020, the EU submitted its updated NDC of at least 55% below 1990 levels. As the EU NDC matches Norway’s upper end of its target, we interpret this target as being a domestic one, with no portion to be achieved through international support.
The CAT rates Norway's target as "Almost sufficient" when rated against modelled domestic pathways ("domestic target"), and "Insufficient" when rated against the fair share contribution ("fair share target"). As Norway does not have an international target, we rate its domestic target against the two rating frameworks.
We rate Norway’s NDC target as “Almost sufficient”. The “Almost sufficient” rating indicates that Norway’s domestic target in 2030 is not yet consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit but could be, with moderate improvements. If all countries were to follow Norway’s approach, warming could be held below—but not well below—2°C.
Our assessment is based on the lower end of Norway’s target range (at least 50%). This target is just inside the ‘Almost sufficient’ range. If Norway were to drop the lower bound of its NDC target and move to ‘at least 55%’ to be consistent with the EU’s updated NDC, its target would become 1.5°C compatible based on global least cost modelled domestic pathways.
We rate Norway’s target as “Insufficient” when compared with its fair-share emissions allocation. The “Insufficient” rating indicates that Norway’s fair share target in 2030 needs substantial improvements to be consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. Some of these improvements should be made to the domestic emissions target itself, others could come in the form of additional support for emissions reductions achieved in developing countries in the form of finance. If all countries were to follow Norway’s approach, warming would reach up to 3°C.
The Norway’s international climate finance is rated “Insufficient” (see below) and is not enough to improve its fair share rating.
Norway’s international public finance contributions are rated “Insufficient”. The country is the only one to meet our benchmark for current contributions based on the 100 billion commitment and is committed to increase its finance in the period post-2020. However, its latest contributions are, on average, lower than they were in the lead up to the Paris Agreement. If Norway were to deliver the proposed increase, it would be rated ‘Almost sufficient’.
Norway’s international contributions are the highest among CAT countries considering its mitigation obligation. Norway also ranks first in finance provided per capita and per GDP. Some of the country’s main initiatives are the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) and contributions to multilateral institutions and funds, such as the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). A high share of Norway’s contributions has climate as a main objective and is based on grants.
Overall yearly contributions have slightly decreased since before Paris. The trend is more significant when grant-only projects are considered (OECD, 2018). Grant-based finance contributions started to decline after 2014 and have been roughly stable since 2016 (OECD, 2018). Norway intends to increase its contributions. The Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative, the country’s largest program, has been extended to 2030. Norway also announced an increase in contributions to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other multi-lateral channels (Government of Norway, 2019). The details of the next round of finance will be laid-out in a strategy to be finalised in 2021.
Norway has not committed to stop funding fossil fuels overseas. Norway’s parliament voted in 2019 to divest part of its sovereign-wealth fund investments on fossil fuels; however, investment in major oil companies remains. In 2021, it was announced that Norway will offer financial institution support in measuring and assessing climate risks in their investment portfolios (Schwartzkopff, 2021).
Further information on how the CAT rates countries (against modelled pathways and fair share) can be found here.
Last NDC update
Norway has submitted its updated NDC.
Its submission was made before the Paris Agreement’s deadline for NDC updates and its updated target represents progress beyond its previous submission.
For information on Norway’s original submission in 2016, see our comparison assessment of Norway’s NDCs.
Net zero and other long-term target(s)
Norway has committed to a 90-95% GHG reduction below 1990 levels by 2050 and included this target in their long-term strategy submitted to the UNFCCC (Norwegian Government, 2020).
Kyoto Protocol second commitment period (2013–2020)
Norway's target under the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period (2013–2020) is to reduce average GHG emissions (excluding LULUCF) by 16% (QELRO of 84) below 1990 levels, equivalent to about a 41% reduction in the year 2020, taking into account the emissions from 2013 and 2014, and assuming a linear pathway reduction from current levels. Under the Kyoto Protocol’s Land Use Change and Forestry accounting provisions, CAT estimates that Norway is likely to get an annual credit equivalent to about 1.7–3.4% of 1990 GHG emissions excluding LULUCF over the period 2013–2020. This would result in a 26–39% reduction of GHG emissions excluding LULUCF in the year 2020. The actual level of domestic emissions reductions would also depend upon emissions trading and the level of Joint Implementation (JI) and CDM (CER) units acquired or held. National policy is to reduce two thirds of its GHG emissions domestically and to purchase emissions units for the rest, to the tune of up to 30 million credits during the Kyoto Protocol second commitment period.
Under the Copenhagen Accord, Norway has pledged to reduce emissions by 30–40% below 1990 levels by 2020 with the 40% reduction target conditional on global action.