Norway at COP 25: “We must act immediately”

By Michael Rogers

Prime Minister Erna Solberg at COP 25 in Madrid (photo: Eirin Larsen/Office of Norway’s Prime Minister)
Prime Minister Erna Solberg at COP 25 in Madrid (photo: Eirin Larsen/Office of Norway’s Prime Minister)

Taking place in Madrid, under the Presidency of the Government of Chile with logistical support from Spain, this year’s UN Climate Change Conference – COP 25 – is now underway and running through 13 December. In the weeks leading up to COP 25, there’s been a rising sense of urgency regarding actions to mitigate the effects of climate change resulting from human activity.

In a statement during the first day of COP 25, Prime Minister Erna Solberg described how Norway plans to do its part in reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement, emphasising that “We wish COP 25 to be remembered for focusing on ambition, action and implementation.”

Prime Minister Solberg called for action from all countries that made pledges to intensify emissions targets during September’s climate meetings at the United Nations – and called on others to make a pledge as well.

The Prime Minister summarised Norway’s goals and how the country intends to reach them:

“Our long-term target is to become a low-emission society by reducing emissions by 90-95% by 2050. Our current target under the Paris Agreement is to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared with the 1990 level. Next year, Norway will strengthen this target.”

“To achieve this, Norway is developing new zero- and low-emission technologies, especially in the transport sector. We have made a good start. We are electrifying our carparks and ferries and are now working on programs for zero-emission for the transportation of goods in our country. And we are increasing CO2-taxation and increasing programs for research and development and new technologies for industries. Because green solutions are paving the way for new business opportunities and growth, as well as helping us to deal with climate threats.”

And the country will continue to support global initiatives such as the Adaption Fund and the Green Climate Fund as part of an effort to aid developing countries in their efforts. Protecting forests and halting deforestation were also called for by the Prime Minister, who emphasised the effort must be supported by long-term international financial commitments.

As a seafaring nation, Norway’s interest in the “Blue” focus during COP 25 was stressed by the Prime Minister:

“This “Blue COP” is also highlighting the importance of the oceans. The High-level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy has released a study showing how five ocean-based climate actions could deliver a fifth of the emissions cuts needed by 2050:
•     by investing in nature-based climate solutions;
•     scaling up offshore and ocean-based renewables;
•     rapidly decarbonising ocean industries;
•     promoting sustainable, resilient and low-carbon sources of food from the oceans; and
•     by advancing the deployment of carbon capture and storage below the seabed.”

Prime Minister Solberg concluded her statement, emphasising that “We need to do all of these things if we’re going to manage to halt the climate change.”

“Climate change affects us all, and we must act immediately.” Solberg concluded.

Read Prime Minister Solberg’s COP 25 statement at the Norwegian Government website.

Visit the UN Climate Change Conference website to follow the latest from COP 25, taking place 2-13 December.