Norway plans to double carbon tax in bid to help stop the effects of climate change

The Norwegian government has today proposed that it will increase its carbon tax on offshore oil companies by £21 per tonne of carbon dioxide. The tax for a tonne of the gas will be £45 with the increase. The government has also made a number of other pledges to help fight the damaging effects of climate change in the developing world.

Among these, is the government’s promise to put a further NKR 10bn (£1bn) into funding climate change mitigation, renewable energy, and food security in developing countries. It will also increase spending on initiatives designed to protect forests in developing countries including Brazil, Indonesia and Ethiopia. It aims to have Norwegians switching to electric vehicles and to make all new homes carbon-neutral in just three years.

These projects pose a significant challenge to other countries who are not making nearly as much progress in investing in renewable energy sources and low-carbon technologies to limit the impacts of climate change. In the UK and Scotland, neither government has come out in favour of a carbon tax on the oil and gas industry. Norway has also been the most generous of all the developed nations in helping slow deforestation under a U.N. plan.

Norway has set a goal of reducing its greenhouse emissions by 30 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, among the most ambitious goals in the world. They were 5.6 percent above 1990 levels last year. The UK energy and climate secretary Ed Davey, did not seem overly-impressed with Norway’s achievements however, and chose to focus on the UK’s green projects which, he claimed, are also world-leading. Despite this, general opinion is that the UK should be doing more, and that Norway should be an example to follow. Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, said: “Norway is showing how you can use oil income to fund the transition out of oil, we should be doing the same with UK oil revenues. ”

Sources include: Reuters, The Guardian

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