Common EU-Norwegian climate quota rules will mean Norway’s oil industry gets free CO2 allowances from the state. Oil and gas giant Statoil is critical to the move.
Norwegian industry’s current compulsory emissions permits buying will stop at the end of this year. The EU decision now means free allowances for the oil sector of up to NOK 4.5 billion (about USD 7.75 billion) beginning 2013.
This equates to approximately 5.7 million tonnes of CO2 annually up to 2020, Klassekampen reports.
Norway had campaigned to keep the permit system in place before Christmas last year but did not succeed.
Neither Statoil climate executive Hege Marie Norheim nor Labour’s (Ap) Deputy Finance Minister Kjetil Lund believe the EU’s decision is good news.
“We think this is wrong. We have supported the Norwegian authorities regarding not introducing free allowances for upstream activities in Norway. It means that we support the principle that the polluter should pay. But Norway lost the case,” Ms Norheim told the paper, Friday.
She believes the free quotas should be used for what they were intended for, which is to protect industries that may otherwise try to move out of the EU, “but upstream activities cannot be transferred out.”
“This particular [EU] rule isn’t good. That’s why we worked against free allowances for the oil industry,” declared Deputy Minister Lund.
Friends of the Earth Norway chairperson Lars Haltbrekken tells The Foreigner today, “This is a massive deduction in the costs of polluting our planet. Instead of reducing the costs, these should be increased so we can reduce emissions.”
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