Item 3: Statement ID with SR on Human Rights and the Environment

Statement by Ambassador Hans Brattskar at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council. Item 3 – Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the environment. Delivered at 2 March 2020. 


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Mr. President,

Norway would like to use this opportunity to thank the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment for his visit to Norway in September 2019.


Mr. President,

There is a mutual and interdependent relationship between human rights, climate and environment. Realization of human rights is not only an end in itself, it is also a prerequisite for safeguarding the climate and the environment, which in turn must be safeguarded in order for human rights to be realized.


Addressing these issues, including dilemmas and challenges that may arise, are among Norway's primary priorities.  We have high ambitions and an extensive range of actions to follow through. 


In his report, the Special Rapporteur commends Norway for being a Party to all of the major global human rights treaties, for actively supporting, and in some cases playing a leading role in resolutions on human rights and the environment and those defending it. He also commends us for our emission free electricity system, for the world's highest share of electric vehicle sales, for being the first country to ban the use of mineral oil for heating of buildings and for prohibiting flaring from petroleum facilities. He also points out our experience with carbon capture and storage and that a new project under consideration could stimulate the international development of CCS and pave the way for future decarbonisation.


He nevertheless also points to what he considers to be the Norwegian paradox; being a leader in addressing global climate change and at the same time having a large oil and gas industry. 


Mr. President,


Norway is already responding with increased ambition and action to the message from young people across the world telling us all to step up, speed up and scale up our efforts to address climate change. The same goes for the message from the world's experts on climate on the need for 40-50 percent carbon emission reductions within 2030 and a carbon neutral world by around 2050.


On 7th of February Norway, as the third country in the world, updated and enhanced our target under the Paris Agreement. The enhanced target is to reduce emissions by at least 50 per cent and up to 55 per cent compared to 1990-levels. Our long-term goal is for Norway to become a low-emission society by 2050, with emissions reductions of 80-95 percent. The target is established by law.  We will submit a low emission strategy to the UN. We will follow through on our Paris commitment to double contributions to the Green Climate Fund, and continue to provide substantial support to developing countries that reduce deforestation. 


Norway has for several decades applied strong measures to reduce emissions from the Norwegian oil and gas industry.


In order to reach the temperature goals in the Paris Agreement, we need measures which will contribute to reducing the demand for fossil fuels over time and require a move from fossil to renewable energy production.  This will affect Norway's oil and gas industry.  While the industry will not be closed down over night and will still be important for Norway for many years to come, we do need to develop alternatives.


Mr. President,


Norway is fully committed to the realization of human rights and to safeguarding our common climate and environment for current and future generations. We commend the Special Rapporteur for his work on the interlinkages between these issues.


His report supports our efforts and provides new input to our considerations and efforts to  safeguard a sustainable development