In the lead-up to the 2021 election, the Norwegian Labour Party pledged to strengthen Norway’s 2030 emissions reduction target, from its 50-55% below 1990 range, to 55% below 1990 levels. Upon Labour winning the election and forming government, it reiterated the 55% target in a joint press conference with the EU in February 2022 (European Commission, 2022). This target has not yet been formally submitted to the UNFCCC as its official NDC yet (as of June 2022), but for the purpose of this assessment, we assume it will soon be updated and rate it as Norway’s 2030 target.
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 (ESR) and the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Regulation. Under the EU’s Effort Sharing Regulation, which covers sectors not included in the EU ETS, Norway is only required to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030, though Norway increased this to 45%. This target is not compatible with its overall 55% target seeing as most of Norway’s emissions reductions must come from sectors not covered by the EU ETS.
Under the LULUCF Regulation, Norway commits to no net emissions from the LULUCF sector between 2021 and 2030 (Government of Norway, 2020c). 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 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 latter, we consider both its domestic reductions and any emissions reductions 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, 2020c). In December 2020, the EU submitted its updated NDC to at least a 55% reduction in emissions 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 "1.5°C Compatible" 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 that includes non-domestic emissions reductions, as is the case with Switzerland, for example, we rate its domestic target against the two rating frameworks.
Upon a change of government in late 2021, Norway has committed to strengthening its 2030 target to at least a 55% reduction below 1990 levels, however, this target still needs to be officially submitted to the UNFCCC. We rate this strengthened target as “1.5°C Paris Agreement Compatible”. The “1.5°C Paris Agreement Compatible” rating indicates that Norway’s domestic target in 2030 is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. If all countries were to follow Norway’s approach, warming could be held well below 2°C.
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. Such improvements 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.
Norway’s international climate finance contributions are 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 USD 100 billion commitment and is committed to doubling its climate finance from NOK 7bn (USD 770m) in 2020 to NOK 14bn (USD 1.54bn) by 2026 at the latest (Government of Norway, 2021b). Despite this pledged increase, current contributions are yet to reach levels sufficient to be considered 1.5°C compatible.
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 slightly decreased from before Paris until 2019, but 2020 saw a sizeable increase year-on-year. 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, 2019a).
Norway has not committed to stop funding fossil fuels overseas and continues to allow new domestic oil and gas exploration. 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 can be found here.
Norway submitted its previously updated NDC of between 50-55% below 1990 levels, but has yet to submit its newly updated target without the bottom range of 50%.
Its submission was made before the Paris Agreement’s deadline for NDC updates and its updated target represents progress beyond its previous submission.
Analysis of earlier NDC developments:
Net zero and other long-term targets
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).