Norway at COP15: policies on climate change

The United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP15) takes place in Copenhagen 7 – 18 December, 2009. The following is a summary of Norway’s positions on climate change going into the high-level conference.

A climate-first strategy

Our first priority should be to establish a long-term goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, based on scientific advice. In Norway’s view, the increase in global mean temperature must be limited to a maximum of two degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial level in order to achieve the ultimate objective of the UN Convention on Climate Change of preventing dangerous climate change. Global emissions will have to be reduced by 50–85 % by 2050, most likely closer to 85%.

The developed countries must take the lead by cutting their emissions by between 25 and 40% in 2020 compared to 1990 levels. Norway believes that all OECD countries should take on adequate quantified reduction commitments in a post-2012 climate regime, differentiated according to specific criteria. Total emissions from developing countries will have to be substantially lower than projected baseline levels within the next few decades. Emerging economies should take on emission reduction commitments in a new Copenhagen agreement. Norway is open to various types of commitments for these countries, provided that emission reductions are measurable, reportable and verifiable. For other developing countries, in particular least developed countries, technological and financial support to enable a low-carbon development path is imperative.

All sectors must be included – REDD and international maritime transport

To stabilise global warming at two degrees, all major emission sources must be included in a new climate regime. CO2 emissions from deforestation in developing countries amount to about 17% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. A REDD mechanism should be included in the 2012 regime, to achieve measurable and verifiable reductions in emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Norway will increase its support for efforts to prevent deforestation/forest degradation in developing countries to up to about NOK three billion (more than USD 500 million) a year. Norway has also proposed that emissions from international shipping should be included in a new Copenhagen agreement, by setting an emission target for this sector and inviting the IMO to develop a cap-and-trade regime to meet the target.


Moving towards a low-carbon economy requires accelerated development and deployment of emission reduction technologies. Technologies related to renewable energy and energy efficiency measures must be implemented in all relevant sectors. Norway also considers carbon capture and storage (CCS) to be a key mitigation technology, with the potential to provide approximately 20% of the emission reductions we need to make up to 2050. Efforts to stimulate the earliest possible introduction of commercially viable CCS technologies should therefore be looked at under the UNFCCC framework.

A new financial mechanism

Significant and predictable financial resources must be mobilised to support necessary mitigation and adaptation action. Norway proposes that a proportion of the emission allowances issued under the Copenhagen Agreement should be auctioned internationally, to generate new additional funds. International auctioning of allowances will generate funds independent of national annual budgetary decisions. If two per cent of the allowances are auctioned, the estimated annual income is USD 20-30 billion. This is based on the assumption that all developed countries take on quantified economy-wide commitments corresponding to the IPCC’s lowest-emission scenario, which includes a range down to a 2˚ C temperature rise.

Read more at Norway Mission to the UN.

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