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.

AIMS

  • 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
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REDD+

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).

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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.

ACTION

  • 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 
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Renewable energy

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

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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.

Cooperation with Liberia

Climate change / REDD: In September 2014, Liberia and Norway entered into a partnership to improve forest governance, strengthen law enforcement, and support efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Liberia. 

Liberia holds 43 per cent of the remaining Upper Guinea forests of West Africa. The forests’ biological diversity encompasses the last long-term viable populations of several endemic species including the Western Chimpanzees, forest elephants and leopards, in addition to over 2000 flowering plants and 225 commercial timber species. The country is listed as one of 34 global biodiversity hotspots.

However, the Liberian forest is under pressure from both commercial logging and chainsaw logging for local markets; shifting cultivation; the clearing of forest for permanent agriculture; and charcoal production.

The Norwegian-Liberian partnership aims at halting this trend by facilitating green growth through the development of a deforestation free agricultural sector in the country. Norway will support Liberia’s efforts with up to$150 million until 2020.

Renewable energy: Long-term Norwegian support to the electricity sector in Liberia has focused on both strengthening of public sector institutions, support in human capital and expertise, and investment in infrastructure.

Norway has contributed NOK 492 million to the rehabilitation of the 88 MW Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant that will provide more environmentally friendly and sustainable electricity in Liberia, as opposed to the current use of costly diesel generators. The first turbine was commissioned in late 2016, and the project will be finalized by the end of 2017.

Support has been provided to the Government of Liberia to establish the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) as a competent, professional and financially sustainable electricity utility and to significantly improve electricity services throughout Monrovia. Norway has done this through capacity building programs in LEC and provided financial assistance to the installation and construction of transmission and distribution infrastructure throughout Monrovia.

To ensure professional implementation of the project Norway also supports LEC with financing the Project Implementation Unit. Other development partners for Mt. Coffee are the Government of Liberia, The European Investment Bank, the German Development Bank and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (US).

To increase the capacity and expertise in energy and water resource management in public institutions, Norway also funds a Technical Assistance Agreement between the Liberian Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy and the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE).

The goal of the partnership is to build capacity in MLME to increase knowledge and implementation of legal frameworks,  and updating and maintaining  national hydro meteorological network and database.