Norway goes carbon neutral

The Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, said that Norway will reduce its emissions of greenhouse gasses by 30 percent by 2020, and be carbon neutral by 2050. “This does not mean no emissions … But it does mean that each tonne of greenhouse gases emitted is to be offset by an equivalent reduction elsewhere. This adds up to zero emissions”. See the speech here. Greenpeace gave a guarded welcome “It should do more at home rather than using its vast wealth to buy its way out of the problem. Norway should take responsibility for the 500m tonnes of emissions that it causes by its exports of oil and gas”. Yet it is still impressive. Who will follow?

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9 Responses to Norway goes carbon neutral

  1. matt says:

    > Who will follow?

    The Republic of Matt! No but really. Does that mean I can drive my car around with impunity, just as long as I put up a wind turbine in Kenya? I’m still not getting this carbon trading business.

    I have to say though that Greenpeace’s response regarding Norway’s oil exports is plain daft. Norway does not use all that oil. It simply has it in it’s own backyard and the world uses it so it meets that need. Until we all come up with better energy options I really don’t give any credit to Greenpeace’s response.

  2. Pete Smith says:


    Yes, it seems that Greenpeace is following a very human trajectory and getting madder and more eccentric with age. Their latest stunt is building a ‘replica’ of Noah’s Ark on the summit of Mount Ararat in Turkey.

    How they can build a replica when nobody has the slightest idea what the thing looked like is beyond me. What I do know is that this is a complete waste of time, energy and materials (12 cubic meters of wood = how many trees?). How can Greenpeace expect to be taken seriously about anything?

  3. matt says:

    It appears to me that Greenpeace currently has four roles; (1). commission reports (2). highlight particular environmental concerns with publicity ‘stunts’ (3). carry out first hand research, often using their ships and (4). protest.

    They are more well known for 2 & 4 and therefore their image is decided here. This may have worked well in the 70s & 80s but, I think the public probably realises that Greenpeace actions rarely stop targeted enterprises from continuing their business as usual. It’s therefore difficult to take Greenpeace seriously any more.

    Maybe they need to ‘benchmark’ themselves to more successful environmental organisations. 🙂

  4. Pete Smith says:

    Is that a polite way of saying they’re out-of-touch, ineffectual wankers? I think someone should sue.

  5. earthpal says:

    Hey, if God told Greenpeace to build an ark, who are we to argue?
    Seriously though, I do hear the sentiment behind it and the message but it’s a bit too gimmicky, even for me.

    Pete, I believe the DIY ark instructions…engineering details..dimensions, type of wood etc. are all in the bible.

    Thinking about it, at the rate we’re killing off our endangered species, it might not be such a loon idea to collect two of each and hide them away from preying humans.

  6. keithsc says:

    Back to Norway. I think they are setting a great example. Surely no country can become carbon neutral without offsetting some emissions. I suppose the last time this country was completely carbon neutral would have been the time of the Black Death when the population decreased by a third, fields were abandoned and trees grew back absorbing carbon. Norway’s path is a little less drastic but will still entail a massive cut in its emissions. What would it take for this country to become carbon neutral now? A flood?

  7. matt says:

    > What would it take for this country to become carbon neutral now? A flood?

    Hang on a minute, ain’t the experts telling us that’s what’s gonna happen. Them icebergs up north are sure as hell meltin’ fast. Maybe, that’s the Lord’s desire. Me, I’m buying myself a boat. Maybe Greenpeace are moving their HQ to their ark.

    Norway? Well yeah, maybe you’re right Keith. Maybe the only way to reduce the gas in one place is to spread all around …. like a whole lotta looove.


  8. matt says:

    Earthpal, the Norweigens are already saving up seeds frantically and building this hightech shelter way up north in the ice. Coffee House blogged it some time ago. Guess they know something …

  9. Pete Smith says:

    Hi earthpal,

    My local DIY store doesn’t stock gopherwood. And you try buying timber in cubits.

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