Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Green ambitions - Norway aims to become carbon neutral by 2030

The Economist featured an article about Norway’s plans to be carbon neutral by 2030. The plan incorporates rewarding “green” choices.

The article says that Norway’s forests will be used as a sink for 20% CO2 emissions. Does this mean that the existing forests will be maintained and through a tree's natural process of absorbing CO2 this is counted as removing carbon emissions? This seems strange to me, because it’s something that is always happening. I don’t get why Norway would start counting this as a reduction in CO2 now?

The article also points out that since most of Norway’s electricity is generated from hydropower most of the carbon cutting will be through transportation changes. This might run into some concerns from voters since most transportation changes also involve lifestyle changes. I think public transportation is great, so I hope voters respond well to potential public transportation projects.

While it might be very difficult to reach these goals, I think this is very exciting. I look forward to seeing solutions to climate change issues that might arise though hard goals set like this.

For comparison, the two democratic primary learders - Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are proposing cutting US CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050.

1 comment:

Amanda Cuellar said...

I also find the tree proposal interesting. By planting new trees, the country could create a new carbon sink. From what I know, a tree only absorbs significant amounts of CO2 during its initial rapid growth stage (or something like that). The problem is that once these trees die or are chopped down for other uses, this carbon is released again. So in order to create a permanent carbon sink from trees, Norway will need to create new tree covered areas and maintain them as such. Maybe that's what they plan to do.