Norway targets climate-hostile vans / Energy / The Foreigner

Norway targets climate-hostile vans. The Norwegian government eyes the scrappage scheme as part of continuing work at lowering emissions, simultaneously proposing a record number of Arctic oil blocks. Pollution levels in Norway’s major cities remain a source of concern, with officials in Oslo introducing a passing ban last month banning diesel cars from driving there. The Scandinavian country was summoned to the EFTA Court in Luxembourg, and found to have breached permitted health hazardous airborne pollutants in cities under the EU’s Ambient Air Quality Directive.

pollution, oil, co2, diesel, climate, electricvehicles, environment, energy, tax, paywall



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Norway targets climate-hostile vans

Published on Monday, 27th March, 2017 at 13:22 under the energy category, by Michael Sandelson   .

The Norwegian government eyes the scrappage scheme as part of continuing work at lowering emissions, simultaneously proposing a record number of Arctic oil blocks.

Pollution
Pollution
Photo: Dr. Keats/Flickr


Pollution levels in Norway’s major cities remain a source of concern, with officials in Oslo introducing a passing ban last month banning diesel cars from driving there.

The Scandinavian country was summoned to the EFTA Court in Luxembourg, and found to have breached permitted health hazardous airborne pollutants in cities under the EU’s Ambient Air Quality Directive.

Jens Frølich Holte, political advisor at the Ministry of Ministry of Climate and Environment, says efforts to improve local air quality in Norway have been “substantial”.

Politicians, who have proposed introducing zero-emission zones in Bergen and the Norwegian capital, introduced a national regulation on low emission zones for cars. This entered into force on 20th December 2016.

It allows municipalities to charge fees in connection with low emissions zones, and decide which cars to include in them (excluding zero-emissions vehicles).

Continuing challenges            

Norway has substantial EV (electric vehicle) incentive schemes in place, which include very low, or zero taxes on environmentally friendly cars. Electric vehicles’ market share was 29 per cent in 2016.

Jens Frølich Holte, political advisor at the Ministry of Ministry of Climate and Environment, also informs The Foreigner that “almost 50% of new cars sold in February [this year] were either electric or hybrid-electric.”

And while both Britain and Spain are upping their respective antes regarding older polluting vehicles on the road, Norwegian officials have begun the process of offering van owners a cash handout of NOK 13,000 (some EUR 1,400 at today’s ROE) for scrapping their vehicles.

This scheme was proposed under 2017’s draft national budget agreement between bipartite coalition Parties the Conservatives (H), Progress (FrP), and supporters the Christian Democrats (KrF) and Liberals (V).

** The green shift needs more than a few cents in petrol tax **

“Still, there are challenges complying with the limit values in certain areas, including Oslo,” Mr Holte explains.

Which other pollution-lowering levels are being considered, bearing in mind the EU Air Quality Directive ruling and the Paris Climate Agreement?

“We do see great results for the market share of environmentally friendly cars,” comments Ketil Solvik-Olsen, Norway’s Minister of Transport and Communications. “However, we do see that electric vehicles are slow sellers regarding vans.”

“Many craftsmen, small delivery companies, and such, claim that that part of the car segment does not have good enough alternatives yet. To try to help that market, we are enacting a scheme with increased payments for old vans being scrapped if they buy a new environmentally-friendly one,” he concludes.

Riding two horses at the same time

A report commissioned by Greenpeace concludes that Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund should divest from all oil and gas stocks.

** Government proposes 93 Barents Sea blocks **

November 2017 sees the start of court proceedings involving environmentalists and the Norwegian State.

Plaintiffs including Greenpeace Norway, and Nature and Youth claim that the government’s decision to open up the Barents Sea of oil exploration violates the Scandinavian country’s constitution.

It was made in connection with 2016’s 23rd licensing round, the same year that Norway ratified the Paris Climate Agreement. The Scandinavian country aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent in 2030 (compared with 1990 levels).

According to Article 112, “every person has a right to an environment that is conducive to health and to a natural environment whose productivity and diversity are maintained.

“Natural resources should be managed on the basis of comprehensive long-term considerations whereby this right will be safeguarded for future generations as well. […]  The authorities of the State shall issue specific provisions for the implementation of these principles,” it also states.

Greenpeace Norway leader Truls Gulowsen called signing the Agreement and permitting oil drilling in the Arctic “a dangerous act of hypocrisy.”

“By allowing oil companies to drill in the Arctic, Norway risks undermining global efforts to address climate change. When the government fails to redress this we have to do what we can to stop it”, he added in the statement.



Published on Monday, 27th March, 2017 at 13:22 under the energy category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: pollution, oil, co2, diesel, climate, electricvehicles, environment, energy, tax, paywall.





  
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