Norway is to double carbon tax on its North Sea oil industry and set up a £1bn fund to help combat the damaging impacts of climate change in the developing world.
In one of the most radical climate programmes yet by an oil-producing nation, the Norwegian government has proposed increasing its carbon tax on offshore oil companies by £21 to £45 (Nkr410) per tonne of CO2and a £5.50 (Nkr50) per tonne CO2 tax on its fishing industry.
Norway will also plough an extra £1bn (Nkr10bn) into its funds for climate change mitigation, renewable energy, food security in developing countries and conversion to low-carbon energy sources, Environmental Finance reported.
It will step up spending on new projects to combat deforestation in developing countries to£44m, taking up its spending overall on forestry programmes to £327m. Previous forestry projects have involved Brazil, Indonesia and Ethiopia.
The Oslo government is also to spend £69m on buying carbon credits in 2013, to help offset its emissions, force through new building regulations to make all new homes carbon-neutral by 2015 and increase efforts to heavily cut emissions from cars, switching to electric vehicles.
The scale of these initiatives will pose a significant political challenge to other oil-producing nations, who are also investing in low-carbon technologies and cutting their own emissions, but not yet investing heavily in tackling the impacts of climate change on developing countries.
The UK and Scottish governments estimate there are up to 24bn barrels of oil left to be exploited over the next 40 years from the UK's oil and gas fields in the North Sea, west of Shetland and smaller sites off western England.
But that would lead to total CO2 emissions of an extra 10bn tonnes – dwarfing the UK's annual 500m tonnes of CO2 emissions, at a time when many climate scientists urge cutbacks in oil, gas and coal use to avoid significant global warming and to meet climate targets.
Neither the UK or Scottish government has supported a carbon tax on the oil and gas industry.
For the rest of this article by Severin Carrell see The Guardian here