the population of Norway is less than 5 million. Norway emits only 0.2 percent of the world's greenhouse gases. However, greenhouse gas emissions increased approximately 10 percent 1990-2004. According to modeling scenarios, Norway will experience a 1.2 percent increase in yearly temperature degrees C compared to 1980-2000. Northern Norway will experience the highest yearly increase compared to other regions of the country. Norway has ratified the Kyoto Protocol and committed to stabilizing emissions at 1 percent above the 1990 emission level. Without new measures, emissions are expected to increase to 22 percent above the Kyoto commitment 1990-2010.
In the early 1990s, Norway began introducing policies to control greenhouse gas emissions. One of the first measures was a tax on carbon dioxide emissions introduced in 1991. Greenhouse gas emissions are also controlled through a license system under the Pollution Control Act, taxes to reduce methane emissions from landfills, and a system for emissions trading. From early 2005, an emissions trading system was introduced for 2005-07 (covering about 10-15 percent of Norway's greenhouse gas emissions). This is similar to the European Union (EU) emissions trading system, and includes carbon dioxide emissions from industries not subject to the emissions tax. Norway has a comprehensive policy for energy efficiency, focusing on the increased use of renewable resources and supports research and development into carbon capture and storage in North Sea geological structures, hydrogen technology, and wind power. Established in 2005, the Norwegian Commission on Low Emissions has committed to reducing emissions to two-thirds of 1990 levels by 2050 and has recommended the adoption of tax incentives for low-emission cars, electrifying oil fields with hydropower, and banning the disposal of organic waste in landfills.
Global warming will affect Norway's natural resources in diverse ways. Higher temperatures may result in the increased growth of fish, as well as more parasites and algal problems. While climate change will negatively affect cod (the most valuable catch in Norway), higher temperatures may have favorable effects for other species, including herring (the second most economically significant fish), and an increased growth rate of farmed fish. Warmer temperatures may result in the availability of more productive forestland, based on an anticipated higher tree line elevation and the expansion of the forest in northerly and westerly directions. Increased carbon dioxide concentrations and higher temperatures will likely result in an extended growing season, allowing harvesting twice a year, and increased plant productivity. An increased use of pesticides and herbicides and discharge of nitrogen would be expected due to erosion and loss of nutrients through runoff, and because higher temperatures speed up soil processes.
SEE ALSo: Kyoto Protocol; European Union; Emissions, Trading.
BIBLIoGRApHY. Karen O'Brien, et al., "Questioning Complacency: Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation in Norway," Ambio (v.35/2, 2006); Ane Sch-jolden, Towards Assessing Socio-Economic Impacts ofCli-mate Change in Norway: Sensitivity in the Primary Sectors: Fisheries, Agriculture and Forestry (CICERO, 2004).
Joanna Kafarowski University of Northern British Columbia
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