Do Oil-Exporting Nations Have an Obligation to Mitigate Climate Change?

Norway takes this responsibility seriously. Not only will it double its carbon tax, in existence since 1991, but it will use revenues to invest in renewable energy and food security in the developing world while expanding its own oil exploration.

2 minute read

October 15, 2012, 8:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid


Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent for the Guardian UK, reports that Norway, one of the worlds leading and wealthiest oil exporters "has proposed increasing its carbon tax on offshore oil companies by £21 to £45 (Nkr410) per tonne of CO2 and a £5.50 (Nkr50) per tonne CO2 tax on its fishing industry." The increased tax revenue will be used to "set up a £1bn fund to help combat the damaging impacts of climate change in the developing world." In addition, funds will be spent on "climate change mitigation, renewable energy, food security in developing countries and conversion to low-carbon energy sources."

"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."

Carrell contrasts Norway's treatment of oil revenues with Scotland's. "Scottish waters account for about 80% of the UK's North Sea oil and gas fields, which produced 1m barrels of oil a day in August."

While neither "the UK or Scottish government has supported a carbon tax on the oil and gas industry", Scotland, which "looks to Norway as a model for its independence plans, has greatly increased its funding and support for renewable energy investment."

"Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, said: "Norway is showing how you can use oil income to fund the transition out of oil, we should be doing the same with UK oil revenues."

"Alex Salmond, Scotland's first minister, said (Oct. 10) that oil economies have a "moral obligation" to increase low-carbon energy and tackle climate change, but says there is no contradiction in maximising oil, gas and coal production."

Thanks to Bonnie McClure

Thursday, October 11, 2012 in Guardian - U.K.

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