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What is Norwayʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Last update: May 2022

Ambition gap

Norwayʼs total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

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Displayed values
Reference year
−150%−100%−50%0%19902010203020502070
Net zero GHG excl. LULUCF*
2066
Reference year
1990
1.5°C emissions level
−60%
NDC (unconditional)
−52%
Ambition gap
−8%
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions

*Net zero emissions excl LULUCF is achieved through deployment of BECCS; other novel CDR is not included in these pathways

Summary

Norway’s newly elected ruling party, in power since 2021, has reiterated its commitment to strengthening Norway’s 2030 target to 55% below 1990 levels (52% below 1990 levels excl. LULUCF).1

1 Norwegian Government. Update of Norway’s nationally determined contribution. 1–16 (2020).

2 Norwegian Environmental Agency. Norway’s Fourth Biennial Report. (2020).

3 Energy Facts Norway. Electricity Production.(2021).

4 Climate Action Tracker. Country Summary: Norway. (2021).

5 Statistics Norway. Emissions to air. (2021).

6 Norwegian Government. Norway’s long-term low-emission strategy for 2050. (2020).

7 Gavenas, E., Rosendahl, K. E. & Skjerpen, T. CO2 emissions from Norwegian oil and gas extraction. (2015).

8 IEA. World Energy Balances 2019 . (2020).

9 Klesty, V. Electric cars rise to record 54% market share in Norway in 2020. Reuters. (2021).

10 Norsk elbilforening. Electric Car Stock. (2021).

11 Norwegian Government. Norway’s comprehensive climate action plan. (2021).

12 Buli, N. & Adomaitis, N. Norway’s plans to raise carbon tax draw oil industry ire. Reuters. (2021).

13 Norsk elbilforening. Norwegian EV policy. (2021).

14 Avinor. Avinor and Norwegian aviation 2018. (2018).

15 Brown, M. Norway Just Mandated Zero-Emission Fjords to Lead Electric Boat Charge | Inverse. (2018).

16 Reuters. Oil producer Norway bans use of heating oil in buildings. (2017).

17 Government of Norway. 2021 Common Reporting Format (CRF) Table. (2021).

18 EHPA. Online Stats Tool. European Heat Pump Association. (2021).

19 Brekke, T., Isachsen, O. & Marton, I. Implementation of the EPBD Norway: Status in 2020. (2020).

20 Norwegian Petroleum. Production Forecasts. (2022)..

21 Solsvik, T. Norway plans to expand Arctic oil and gas drilling in new licensing round. Reuters .(2022).

22 Kurmayer, N. J. Germany, Norway agree tentative plan to build hydrogen pipeline link. Euractiv. (2022).

23 Klesty, V. Electric cars hit 65% of Norway sales as Tesla grabs overall pole. Reuters. (2022)..

24 Ferris, N. Weekly data: Why Norway leads the world for electric vehicles. Energy Monitor. (2022).

25 Holland, M. Norway Above 86% Plugin EV Share In February, Ioniq 5 Leads. CleanTechnica. (2022).

26 Government of Norway. Norway’s comprehensive climate action plan. (2021).

27 Government of Norway. National Transport Plan 2022–2033. (2021).

28 While global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C provide useful guidance for an upper-limit of emissions trajectories for developed countries, they underestimate the feasible space for such countries to reach net zero earlier. The current generation of models tend to depend strongly on land-use sinks outside of currently developed countries and include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches. The scientific teams which provide these global pathways constantly improve the technologies represented in their models – and novel CDR technologies are now being included in new studies focused on deep mitigation scenarios meeting the Paris Agreement. A wide assessment database of these new scenarios is not yet available; thus, we rely on available scenarios which focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology. Accordingly, we do not yet consider land-sector emissions (LULUCF) and other CDR approaches which developed countries will need to implement in order to counterbalance their remaining emissions and reach net zero GHG are not considered here due to data availability.

29 Year of full decarbonisation is based on carbon intensity threshold of 5gCO₂/MJ.

A 60% emissions reduction by 2030 is aligned with the Paris Agreement according to the 1.5°C domestic emissions pathway derived by our analysis. However, under current policies, Norway is projected to fall well short of achieving its NDC.2

A fair share contribution to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions compatible with the Paris Agreement would require Norway to go further than its domestic target, and provide substantial support for emission reductions to developing countries on top of its domestic reductions.

Norway’s current 2050 target is to become a ‘low carbon society’, which the government has quantified as a 90-95% reduction in GHG emissions below 1990 levels. This was strengthened in 2020 from its previous 2050 target of an 80-95% reduction below 1990 levels.

This strengthened target would be aligned with a 1.5°C compatible pathway which would require an emissions reduction of 92% below 1990 levels (excl. LULUCF) by 2050.28 Norway will need to balance its remaining emissions to reach net zero GHG by 2050.

Power

Key power sector benchmarks

Renewables shares and year of zero emissions power Including the use of BECCS

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Norway’s electricity generation comes predominately from hydropower, which constituted 90% of total generation in 2020, with a further 8.5% generated by wind power and less than 2% coming from fossil fuel generation.3

The limited remaining fossil fuel generation would need to be phased out more or less immediately to be compatible with a 1.5°C trajectory, with natural gas generation phased out by 2025 at the latest.

Upgrading and expanding existing hydropower facilities could be a way to provide on demand power to facilitate the phasing out of remaining coal and gas plants.

Buildings

Key buildings sector benchmarks

Shares of electricity, hydrogen and biofuels in final energy demand in the buildings sector.

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With Norway’s mostly decarbonised power sector, over half of homes in Norway are operating close to zero carbon heating systems through the use of heat pumps.

To be aligned with 1.5°C building sector pathways, Norway would need to continue along its current decarbonisation trajectory by eliminating the remaining oil and gas consumption through further electrification, mostly by 2030, and entirely shortly after.

Transport

Key transport sector benchmarks

Shares of electricity, hydrogen and biofuels in final energy demand in the transport sector.

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A long history of policy measures to encourage electric vehicle (EV) adoption has helped Norway to achieve the world’s highest share of EV sales in total car sales, reaching 65% in 2021. However, the country would need to pursue its efforts to align with 1.5°C compatible pathways, by reducing transport sector CO₂ emissions by at least 57% below 2019 levels by 2030.

Industry

Key industry sector benchmarks

Shares of electricity, hydrogen and biomass in final energy demand in the industry sector. Year of reaching net zero emissions Including the use of BECCS.

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While oil and gas production including fugitive emissions constitutes over half of Norway’s industry emissions, 1.5°C compatible emissions pathways indicate that Norway would need to reduce direct CO₂ emissions by at least 62% below 2019 levels by 2030, a steeper reduction than needed for total emissions.

Footnotes