Climate change and the environment

Climate change and environmental damage are two of the most dramatic challenges facing the world today. Many countries are already feeling the effects of climate change. In our part of the world, the changes in the Arctic region are particularly dramatic and worrying.

Photo: Bjørnulf Remme/Norad

Extreme weather events are more common than before, sea levels are rising, and droughts and floods are more frequent. Air pollution alone claims 7 million lives a year. Climate change and environmental damage are destroying ecosystems, with negative repercussions for development, health and food production. Climate change is exacerbating humanitarian disasters, fuelling conflict, and making certain areas uninhabitable. It is crucial that all countries do their part to prevent further loss and damage associated with climate change impacts. This work can save lives and assets, and reduce the need for humanitarian aid when a disaster strikes.


The world’s rain forests make up one the largest global carbon sinks, provide livelihoods for millions of people, and are home to more than half the world’s known animal and plant species. Norway allocates a significant amount of funding to REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries).

The Paris Agreement came into force in November 2016. It is the first global agreement that commits all countries to setting more ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Norway was among the first countries to ratify the agreement. The Paris Agreement gives reason to hope that the countries of the world can work together to prevent dangerous climate change.


  • reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions so as to limit the global increase in temperature to less than 2˚C with the further aim of limiting the increase in temperature to 1.5˚C
  • enable vulnerable countries to adapt to climate change
  • reduce the consequences of natural disasters, including those caused by climate change
  • prevent deforestation, and thus reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
  • promote economic development and food security


Since 2007, Norway has allocated up to NOK 3 billion a year of its aid budget to REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries).


Fossil fuel subsidy reform

Norway is a member of Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform. Subsidy reform is important for cleaning up the air and freeing up public funds for development efforts.


  • implementing the Paris Agreement, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, all of which have been negotiated by UN member states
  • reducing Norway’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 % by 2030
  • funding efforts to address climate change through the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the World Bank, and other multilateral funds and partners
  • leading the way in international efforts in the field of health and climate
  • promoting the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies
  • supporting sustainable urban development and the development of renewable energy, with a view to promoting sustainable social development and economic growth
  • contributing to sustainable management of marine resources 

Renewable energy

The energy sector accounts for more than 60 % of greenhouse gas emissions. Access to renewable energy is therefore crucial for sustainable development


Research vessel (RV) Dr Fridtjof Nansen

Norwegian researchers on RV Dr Fridtjof Nansen are taking part in the vital work of mapping marine litter on the seabed, particularly plastic litter, which causes serious environmental harm.

Norway and Indonesia – cooperation on climate change

Indonesia has the third largest expanse of tropical forests in the world. The Indonesian Government has set bold targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in particular from deforestation and forest degradation.

Norway supports the Indonesian Government’s efforts to realize these commitments. In 2010, this partnership was formalised through a Letter of Intent between the two governments. Since then, Norway has provided technical and financial support through bilateral cooperation with Indonesia, and through multilateral institutions and civil society organisations.

In May 2010, Indonesia and Norway entered into a climate and forest partnership. Norway committed up to one billion USD in the period up to 2020, in order to support Indonesia’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and degradation of forests and peat.

Indonesia has since then taken decisive action to reduce its forest and peat related greenhouse gas emissions. The bilateral partnership has provided support to policy and institutional development and to the implementation of policies and measures aiming at reaching Indonesia’s ambitious climate targets.

Activities by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and the Indonesian Peatland Restoration Agency are supported with assistance from a number of partners, including the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program and the World Resources Institute.

Contributions for verified emission reductions
In its current phase, the cooperation aims at establishing a framework where Indonesia can receive financial contributions for verified emission reductions at the national level. This includes support to the establishment of a national funding mechanism and a system to monitor, report and verify emissions.

At the same time, the partners have initiated larger scale mitigation actions through province-wide projects.