Image courtesy of jimg944 via flickr
While the U.S. continues to drag its feet in committing to firm emissions cuts, European countries have seemingly been enmeshed in a protracted race to determine which will assert the greenest bona fides. Norway - ever the ambitious one - has now said that it aims to go carbon neutral by 2030, or 20 years ahead of its earlier target. It plans on doing so by cutting emissions at home and by investing in environmental projects - primarily focused on fighting deforestation in developing countries - to obtain carbon credits.
How all this will come about, however, remains unclear; indeed, several environmental groups have already hit out against the government for being too vague, prompting the Oil and Energy Minister to acknowledge: "We don't know how we will achieve the goals yet, and this is challenging."The plan calls for a "significant sum" of money to be earmarked for investment in renewable energy, mass transport and strategies aimed at lowering emissions from the transport sector; other "carrot and stick" measures - including a boost to research funding and a tax increase on diesel fuel and gas - will be implemented to "promote more environmentally friendly behavior."
As promising as this scheme may sound, there are reasons to be wary: As April Streeter, our correspondent in Norway, has noted, the Jens Stoltenburg-led Labour government has fallen short numerous times in the past in fulfilling its earlier ambitious proposals. Yet, because of the bipartisan nature of the plan and Norwegians' growing green consciousness, there is hope this scheme will stick.
Via ::Reuters: Norway says aims to go carbon neutral by 2030 (news website)