I recently read this article in the New York Times about Norway's plans to become carbon neutral by 2030 and the international criticism their plan has sparked. The problem with Norway's plan is that it relies heavily on "sleight-of-hand accounting and huge donations to environmental projects abroad, rather than meaningful emissions reductions." Also, Norway's carbon dioxide accounting does not include the greenhouse gas emissions it exports to other countries along with the petroleum and natural gas it supplies to the world. Norway's leaders defend their policies by saying that they don't want their carbon reduction commitment to make industry the losers.
I think this article highlights a huge problem the world is facing in regards to climate change, how can we decrease our emissions without compromising our comfort? One solution critics have offered in Norway is for the country to cut it's fossil fuel production activities and to instead grow a new solar panel production industry. Despite our resistance to the idea that combating climate change will require us to make changes in our daily lives, I think ultimately we must accept this fact. Norway's plan has proven that even the most ambitious countries cannot make the changes needed by continuing to pursue business as usual.