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ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN NORWAY

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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) are mainly responsible for international cooperation to accelerate sustainable development in developing countries.  A special department in NORAD is in charge of developing and enhancing imports from developing countries to Norway.

The main responsibility for international cooperation on capacity building in developing countries rests with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NORAD.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

Capacity-building principles are being applied to development programmes in the following ways:

Capacity-building through support for training is a major activity in the field of development cooperation. Norway has, for example, a Trust Fund for Governance in Africa through UNDP. Support is given to individual projects/programmes on capacity-building, but mainstreaming is the overall goal. Participating partners may include ministries, local governments and educational institutions, depending on scope, modes, complexity, focus, magnitude, etc. of projects. Particularly good results have been obtained from systematic, structured cooperation with research institutions within higher education in developing countries.

 Information 

Special emphasis is laid on information-sharing with NGOs involved in development projects abroad. Seminars and reports are particularly important mechanisms here, but the effectiveness of our current information system should be analysed thoroughly and critically.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing 

Norway is continuing to promote debt reduction for the poorest countries as part of a policy to enable them to build a sustainable economy. In 1995, the Norwegian Debt Relief Facility provided USD 41.22 million to different countries. However, in 1995, the proportion of total allocations used for debt rescheduling through the Paris Club was less than in previous years.

Cooperation

Norway is making continuous efforts to provide the poorest developing countries with concessional resources through the International Development Association (IDA 10 for 1994-96), and the ongoing replenishment negotiations in the African Development Fund. Norway participates in IDA’s Special Programme for Africa (SPA), providing balance of payment support and debt relief to the poor and debt-distressed Sub-Saharan African countries.

Norway is continuing to emphasise the importance of addressing linkages between the environment and the overall macro-economic policies of the multilateral development banks. Norway also finances research related to this field at the World Bank.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Norway to the fifth and eighth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: February 2000.

For access to the homepage of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, click here:
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TRADE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Trade and Industry are mainly responsible for questions relating to international trade. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NORAD have particular responsibilities for establishing and maintaining sustainable trade with developing countries.  A national reference group consisting of members from different sectors of environment and development organisations was established in 1992 to consider trade- and environment-related questions. The group has been actively involved in the national preparations prior to the Seattle WTO Ministerial Conference.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

Norway has given high priority to the issue of trade and environment, and participates actively in the work of the Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Norway considers the Committee on Trade and Environment in WTO to be of crucial importance. Norway attaches particular significance to increasing the responsiveness of the WTO system through the integration of environmental concerns in order to make trade and environmental policies mutually supportive. It is essential that the multilateral trading system prepares an agenda for forthcoming WTO negotiations that is broad enough to balance the interests of all members and that responds to the challenges of a rapidly changing international trading environment. Norway attaches particular significance to the integration of environmental concerns into the trading system so as to promote the objective of sustainable development. It is of fundamental importance that environmental concerns are taken into account in all fields subject to negotiations. Environmental issues should also be given separate consideration under the negotiating agenda to clarify the relationship between multilateral environmental agreements and the multilateral trading system, and to establish guidelines for voluntary ecolabelling systems. It is however necessary to recognise that the WTO members are at different levels of development and that special attention should be given to the needs of developing countries, particularly the least-developed countries (LDCs).

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Norway to the fifth and eighth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: February 2000.

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CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs are the central authorities focusing on consumption issues. Recently, local authorities have become more involved with these issues. The Ministry of Finance has the primary responsibility for economic policy. Activities in many areas of sustainable development implementation contribute to changes in consumption patterns, for example, voluntary agreements with industry on the responsibility for waste generated by their products, and the CO2 tax and measures for energy efficiency. Here, the focus is on cross-sectoral issues.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The objective of the Nordic eco-labelling scheme is to provide consumers with guidance to help them choose products and services that are less harmful to the environment. This encourages product development which takes environmental factors as well as other quality considerations into account. Criteria for about 40 product groups have been developed so far. The scheme is administered by the Norwegian Foundation for Environmental Labelling, with subsidies from the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Norwegian Government has initiated a three-year programme (1994-96) for Government procurement. Within this programme, the Ministry of Environment is responsible for the project: A Green Government Procurement Policy. The proposal covers environmental criteria for choice of products and suggests how these can be incorporated into procurement practices. This work has been followed up with a guidebook for procurement officers.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

To develop ideas and advice on how families, local authorities, industry, and NGOs can initiate change in consumption and production patterns themselves, a programme on sustainable local communities was established in 1995. The programme involves seven local communities in Norway.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

As of 1998, the Norwegian Pollution Control Agency will grant economic support to the development of sustainable production and consumption within industry. The main objective of these grants is to encourage the use and development of ESTs.

Green taxes ensure that consumers take the environmental costs of consumption of energy, materials, and natural resources into account. Norway has introduced several green taxes, such as a CO2 tax and a sulphur tax. A tax is levied on packaging and on car wrecks to strengthen collection and recycling systems. In December 1994, the Government formed a committee to consider how fiscal policy could act to the mutual benefit of the environment and increased employment. The committee's recommendations were presented in the Norwegian Official Report 1996:9.

In 1995, the Ministry of Environment established the Norwegian Centre for Sustainable Production and Consumption (GRIP). GRIP collaborates with organizations in specific business areas to develop, field test, and promote methods that increase eco-effectiveness (value added per unit environmental load). GRIP functions like a catalyst for more efficient use of energy and other resources. So that GRIP's work reflects the views of a wide range of organizations, its board includes representatives from the Norwegian Confederation of Industry, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade and Service Businesses, the Norwegian Association of Local Authorities, the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature, and the State Pollution Control Authority.

Seventeen Norwegian NGOs have established a network called "The Environmental Home Guard" (EHG). Environmental NGOs, three major women's organizations, the scouts' confederations, the Church of Norway, the Norwegian Confederation of Sports, and the Federation of Cooperative Housing and Building are among the member organizations. The aim is to motivate and educate people to make environmentally friendly choices, to reduce the use of non-renewable natural resources, reduce waste production, reduce energy consumption, and eliminate the use of harmful substances. The strategy is to approach individuals and groups, and assist them in making new choices individually and collectively by providing information and other tools for change. There are currently eight regional service bureau, supported by a central secretariat. Approximately 70,000 individuals are "enlisted" in the EHG, and a large number of schools, public and private institutions, companies, municipalities, and housing cooperatives are involved in EHG programmes. In the autumn 1996, the project "Green families" was launched. After a couple of months, more than 100 municipalities took initiatives to start networks of "green families" among their citizens. Other NGOs, like the "Future in our Hands," have carried out research projects on the possibilities of changing lifestyles and consumption patterns.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

There has also been work to develop indicators of sustainable consumption.

Examples of manuals that GRIP has published are "GRIP Build" on how to build eco-efficient commercial buildings; "GRIP Office" on how to increase eco-effectiveness in the office operation; and "GRIP Bicycle Tourism" on how to develop bicycle based tourism packages. GRIP also has projects aimed at increasing market shares for eco-efficient products (for example, Ecoprofile for Buildings) and companies (for example, a prize for good environmental reporting). "Naturlig Vis - Naturally Wise" is an environmental training scheme which aims at enabling employees to understand their company's environmental policy and make strategic and tactical decisions that support this policy. GRIP and the Norwegian School of Management have sent 1,500 businesses a questionnaire on attitudes and response to environmental threats in order to measure the business community's reaction to Agenda 21. The analysis of the approximately 500 responses were presented at a major Conference on Sustainable Business, GRIP Forum 1996.

Research and Technologies 

There are two programmes for research on sustainable production and consumption patterns:

The main purpose of the Research Programme on Sustainable Production and Consumption (1996-2001) is to contribute to an increased insight into the relationship between production and consumption patterns, distribution and environment - nationally and globally as well as across generations. The programme has clearly applied components with the intention of supplying knowledge as a basis for political actions.

The Programme for Research and Documentation for a Sustainable Society (ProSuS) was established

A programme for environmental technology was established in 1990 by the Ministry of Industry and Energy in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment to create a basis for industrial growth and prevent environmental degradation. In addition, the European Union's Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EU EMAS) was implemented by Norway in 1995 (EU Council regulation 93/1836).

Financing 

The GRIP Centre received about US$ 1.5 million in 1996 from the Ministry of Environment. The Nordic product labelling scheme received US$ 1.1 million in 1995 from the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs. The Ministry of Industry and Energy, and the Ministry of Environment have spent US$ 40.7 million per year on the programme for environmental technology. The Government provides core funding (about 75% of the total budget) for the EHG. In 1996, this amounted to 5.4 million NOK.

Cooperation

In 1994, Norway hosted an International Symposium on Sustainable Consumption. The summary report of the Symposium was presented to the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) at its second session in May 1994. Norway hosted a Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Production and Consumption in February 1995. The recommendations were forwarded to the CSD and now constitute a part of the CSD work programme on sustainable production and consumption. Norway also hosted the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) workshop "Sustainable Consumption and Production: Clarifying the Concepts" in July 1995, and the Green Goods Conference on extended producers' responsibility in February 1996. Norway has strongly supported OECD's work on sustainable production and consumption. Norway also finances the International Institute for Sustainable Development's (IISD) INTERNET pages on sustainable production and consumption. The results from conferences and meetings on this theme are being placed on the INTERNET. There is also a discussion group at the address http://www.iisd.ca/ linkages/consume/. Norway supports the industry office's work at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on cleaner production and cleaner production programmes in Eastern Europe. Norway cooperated closely with the Brazilian government, and supported the seminar: "Sustainable Production and Consumption - Patterns and Policy Implications" in Brasilia, November 1996.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Norway to the fifth and sixth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

For access to the Norwegian Sustainable Consumption and Production Home Page, click here:
For information from the The GRIP Centre for Sustainable Production and Consumption in Norway, click here:
For information on Instruments for Change and Sustainable Production and Consumption, click here:

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FINANCING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Storting agreed to most of the Government’s proposals and the following new environmental taxes were introduced with effect from 1 January 1999:

The CO2 tax base was widened to include the supply fleet in the North Sea, domestic air transport and coastal goods transport at a rate of NOK 100 per ton CO2. The processing industry, the fisheries and international air transport are still exempt from the CO2 tax. For other sectors where the CO2 tax is levied, the rates range from NOK 397 per ton to NOK 74 per ton. In response to the Proposition on Green Taxes and the white paper on Norwegian implementation of the Kyoto Protocol (Report to the Storting No. 29 (1997-98)), the Storting also asked the Government to appoint a commission of experts to devise a domestic emission trading system based on quotas for greenhouse gases in Norway. The commission presented its report to the Ministry of the Environment the 17 December 1999.

A tax on final disposal of waste was introduced to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas methane to water, soil and air. Waste delivered to landfills or incinerators will be taxed at a rate of NOK 300 per ton. Incinerators that utilise waste for energy purposes will pay a lower tax but a minimum of NOK 75 per ton.

The SO2 tax base has also been widened to include sources that were not previously taxed, i.e. the petroleum industry on the continental shelf and the use of coal and coke. The rate for new uses are NOK 3 per kilo, while the present SO2 tax on mineral oils is NOK 17 per kg. To encourage the sales and use of more environmentally-friendly buses the exemption from the autodiesel tax was removed. To avoid negative effects on public transport, bus companies are compensated for the tax increase.

The following have been exempted from the 7 per cent investment tax: energy production plants based on renewable energy sources such as biofuels, wind turbines, heat pumps, district heating plants, tidal water plants, micro and mini power plants. In addition, investments in solar energy and in geothermal heating were exempted during 1999.

In addition, the following environmental taxes are levied in Norway. There is a tax differentiation between leaded and unleaded petrol. Tax-based deposit-return systems for scrapped cars, beverage containers, and lubricating oil are in effect. Taxes are levied on fertilisers and pesticides. Noise charges are proscribed for air transport and there is a tax on passenger seats in aeroplanes.

The Government will continue to consider how taxes can be used to reach environmental objectives.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

All ministries are responsible for integrating environmental considerations into their activities. They are required to report on their environmental efforts and the impact of these in their budget proposals. In October 1999 the Government presented a white paper on the Government’s environmental policy and the state of the environment in Norway (Report to the Storting No. 8 (1999-2000)). This describes environmental trends and the Government’s overall environmental efforts, based on national targets for each of eight environmental priority areas. A similar report will be submitted to the Storting each year.

In 1994, the Government appointed a Green Tax Commission to evaluate the possible environmental benefits and positive impact on employment of a shift in the burden of taxation away from labour and towards pollution and the extraction of resources. The Commission presented its report Green Taxes - Policies for a Better Environment and High Employment in June 1996, and proposed a number of new environmental taxes and increases to others. In April 1998 the Government submitted Proposition no. 54 to the Storting (1997-98) on Green Taxes.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

On the basis of a Government proposal in the Revised National Budget 1999, the Storting has decided that NOK 1 billion of the Petroleum Fund’s capital is to be transferred into a separate fund which is to be managed according to environmental guidelines. The value of the Petroleum Fund at the end of 1999 was estimated to be more than NOK 200 billion. In 1998, the Government Petroleum Fund made investments in more than 2000 companies, mostly in the USA, Canada and the UK and other western European countries.

Companies that satisfy a detailed set of environmental criteria will be eligible for investments from the separate environment fund. The criteria may include requirements relating to the achievement of environmental certificates or the issue of environmental reports by the companies. The Government also intends to consider criteria relating to eco-efficiency when the data basis has been sufficiently improved. Examples of eco-efficiency criteria could be levels of harmful emissions, energy consumption or material consumption per unit of production. The size of the environmental fund is to be reconsidered after three years with a view to increasing its capital.

Total environmental expenditure in the state budget from 1994 to 2000 is estimated as follows: 1994: NOK 17 500 million (USD 2500 million); 1996: NOK 18 000 million (USD 2570 million); 1998: NOK 19 400 million (USD 2775 million); and 2000: NOK 19 600 million (USD 2800 million). In addition to these figures, the budget contains information regarding expenditures, which are motivated mainly and partly by environmental considerations.

Cooperation

Norwegian development assistance over and above the 0.7 per cent target for Official Development Assistance (ODA) amounts to USD 400-500 million annually, and was in 1998 1.321 billion USD, or about 0.91 per cent of GDP. The Government’s aim is to reach 1 per cent of GDP by 2005. Since 1987, the Government has given high priority to the need to integrate environment and development issues. In 1993, the Ministry of Development Cooperation adopted a new policy document on the follow-up to United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The main recommendation is that priority should be given to supporting partner countries’ own efforts to follow-up Agenda 21. Special emphasis is being given to the following issues: the promotion of ecologically sounder management of natural resources, particularly by supporting sustainable development in the primary sector; population and family planning; strengthening institutional capacity and supporting human resources development; development of methods and planning tools which can help to integrate environment and development objectives; and environmental programmes.

Sustainable development and poverty eradication are the overriding aims of all Norwegian development assistance. The funds available for specifically environmental purposes in developing countries have been gradually increasing since 1992. Approximately USD 1 billion, or about 15 per cent of bilateral development assistance, was in 1998 disbursed for sustainable development activities, including population programmes. Adjustment programmes and Norway’s assistance in this area continue to focus on the effects of the programmes on poverty, income distribution and the social situation in the countries concerned. Norway also urges partner countries to take environmental considerations more fully into account in the design of adjustment programmes. In addition, NOK 165 million was contributed to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) during the pilot phase and another NOK 220 million for the period 1994-1997. For 1998-2002, a commitment has been made in the order of NOK 285 million.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Norway is subject to the same environmental regulations, for example on pollution control, that applies to domestic investments. This is particularly visible offshore, where all companies operating on the Norwegian continental shelf are taxed on CO2 emissions from offshore platforms as described above. In connection with direct Norwegian private investments in developing countries NORAD may finance environmental investments (on grant terms) which are needed to ensure compliance with Norwegian environmental standards.

Norway regularly reports to the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD/DAC) on ODA. Statistical information is therefore organised according to DAC sector codes.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Norway to the fifth, sixth and eighth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: February 2000.

For access to the homepage of the Ministry of Finance and Customs, click here:
For information on participating States in the Global Environment Facility, click here:
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For information on participating States in the Global Environment Facility, click here:

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TECHNOLOGY

Transfer of Environmentally-Sound Technology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Norway is Party to the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) and has implemented corresponding legislation, but has no legislation aimed specifically at protecting IPRs in connection with transfer of ESTs.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The current strategy on ESTs (i.e. since 1996) is based on government guidelines. The main concern is to include all industrial sectors, all technologies and all environmental issues. This is to ensure a focus on a reduction in NOx and other greenhouse emissions as well as an organisational structure where the main responsibility for EST policy rests with the Ministry of Industry and Trade. As limitation of greenhouse gas emissions has become a global priority, as well as a national one, the sectors of energy and transportation are natural candidates for urgent application of ESTs. As a consequence, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has developed a strategy which gives priority to ESTs and programmes which may contribute to reducing the greenhouse effect.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The Committee for ESTs consists of both ministry officials and private stakeholders. More specifically, they include representatives from several ministries, from industry through the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO), and from the Norwegian Trade Council.

Programmes and Projects 

Several administrative and economic measures are being applied to promote environmentally sound technology (EST). In the fiscal policy area, the Norwegian government established a broad national programme for environmentally sound technology in 1990. The aim of the programme is to create a foundation for both industrial growth and prevention of environmental degradation. The administration of the programme is carried out in close cooperation with the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO). The main targets include:

Further environmental programmes stimulating the use of ESTs in industry are:

Status

The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) regulation came into force in June 1995. A project financed by the Ministry of Environment covering ten small and medium enterprises has been completed. New pilot projects on the fish industry, fish farming, and furniture industry are being tried in 1996. To date approximately 15 companies are registered, with several companies working towards registration.

Norway participates in the International Standards Organization's work on standards within environmental management (ISO/TC 207), and is responsible for chairing one sub-committee and one working group. The international participation and secretariat services are financed by the Ministry of Environment and by industry. Norway hosted the 1995 Technical Committee meeting.

Over the last 3-4 years Norwegian industry has increased its focus on ESTs as an alternative to "End-of-pipe"-solutions with regard to both production processes and products. The use of life-cycle analysis to identify the specific needs for ESTs has also increased significantly.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

The NHO organizes conferences related to environmental issues twice a year, and numerous seminars are offered to promote interest in sound environmental management. In this context the yearly conference on Environment Northern Seas (ENS) may be considered particularly significant. An award for the best Environmental Report has been established and has attracted significant interest.

 Information 

The document "Environmental technology - guidelines for further work", written and approved in 1996, provides a programme of action for both promoting and implementing ESTs in Norway.

The Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT), the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO), and the World Cleaner Production Society (WCPS) are the main sources of information at the national level. There is, however, no national register with information as to who is able to deliver or develop the technology or services necessary to solve certain environmental problems. Thus, the Government is encouraging the business and industry sectors to establish a register of ESTs similar to the Norwegian Resource Centre for Waste Management and Recycling (NORSAS) register on the waste industry. Norway has also contributed to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) "Best Practice Guide for Cleaner production".

For information on EST's from the The GRIP Centre for Sustainable Production and Consumption in Norway, click here:

Research and Technologies 

No information is available. 

Financing

Initiatives include a scheme for economic contributions for developing ESTs. Until 1997, contributions for ESTs were administered by the Norwegian State Pollution Control Agency. Moreover, NOK 2000 mill. was allocated for a general research programme on environmental technology, to be managed by the Norwegian Research Council. The programme "Norwegian environmental technology towards year 2000" (NORMIL) was started in 1996, whereas the programme "Technology for reduction of greenhouse emissions" (KLIMATEK) began early 1997. KLIMATEK is co-financed by the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. Finally, they organise EKSPOMIL, a programme promoting Norwegian ESTs for export. This was facilitated by the Norwegian Trade Council until 1996.

The Norwegian Pollution Control Agency will, as of 1998, grant economic support to the development of sustainable production and consumption within industry. The main objective of these grants is to encourage the use and development of ESTs.

The Ministry of Environment grants financial support for abating emissions from municipal waste water and sewage systems. These grants may also be used to develop new ESTs for improving the quality of freshwater. The Ministry of Environment also offers special grants for investments in ESTs which will improve treatment of organic special waste. NOAH, the National Association for Treatment of Hazardous and Special Waste, is the main instrument for implementing Norwegian policy in this respect. NOAH is a joint venture between the state and private industry, with the State as majority shareholder. NOAH's investment in a new plant for environmentally sound treatment of hazardous and special waste is part of a national plan for promoting ESTs in the area of waste management.

A State Environmental Fund will be established in 1998, with the purpose of inspiring both development and use of ESTs by granting loans on favourable terms. Particular attention is to be given to the reduction of greenhouse emissions.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has for several years given economic contributions to measures which will encourage energy saving, as well as the development of renewable sources of energy.

Furthermore, the Norwegian Maritime Directorate provides grants for the reduction of NOx emissions from ships. These are given as direct financial contributions.

In addition to these special economic measures, a general system of green taxes (e.g. CO2 tax) should encourage developments within the area of EST, as well as more sustainable consumption patterns overall.

Cooperation

Norwegian development assistance promotes environmentally sound technology for all relevant projects. Projects with labour intensive methods are emphasized. The Norwegian Government finances, for example, the transfer of expertise programmes on waste minimization and cleaner production strategies in Central and Eastern Europe and China. The Norwegian Society of Chartered Engineers (NIF) has the overall responsibility for managing these programmes for a two-to-four year period. The programmes aim at implementing economically profitable and environmentally favourable restructuring of industrial processes in 200-350 relevant production companies in each of the countries involved.

In Central and Eastern Europe the programmes are being implemented through cooperation between the Norwegian Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Industry and/or the Ministry of Environment in the country concerned. The reduction of waste by 30-40% with practically no extra investment is the most remarkable experience gained so far. The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) is focusing on strengthening existing EST centres in developing countries such as the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in India, the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) in Sri Lanka, the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS), and the Asia Institute of Technology (AIT)--a regional centre in Bangkok. The Norwegian Government is in the process of increasing funding to various environmental projects in Asia. Baseline studies, resource assessments, institutional strengthening, and management of technology will be essential parts of the programme. Norway has established a network of competence for the transfer of environmental knowledge and capacity-building to developing countries and countries in transition.

The private sector is playing an all-important part in PRIODA, a Russo-Norwegian programme for cooperation within environmental technology, which is parented by the Government of Norway and the Kola and Arkhangelsk regions of north-western Russia.

In common with all OECD country governments Norway's activities on technology cooperation are part of the Government's written reports on foreign aid to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD.

Norway's obligations under the global conventions also require reporting on technology cooperation, in common with all other developed countries, with which Norway shares her reports to the respective secretariats. Transfer of climate technology is described on p. 58 of Norway's 1997 communication to the Conference of the Parties.

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This information was provided by the Government of Norway to the fifth and sixth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

 

Biotechnology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Environment, Section for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, is responsible for environmentally sound management of biotechnology in Norway. The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs is responsible for the health-aspects relating to the production and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and is the competent authority for contained use of GMOs.

An interministerial committee in modern biotechnology has been established by the Ministry of Environment to facilitate the participation of all relevant authorities in the regulation of modern biotechnology,. The Norwegian Government has appointed an official independent board for biotechnology, the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board. Its mandate covers issues relating to biotechnology in connection with humans, animals, plants, and microorganisms. Some of the most important functions mentioned in the mandate are as follows: to evaluate questions of principle and general issues related to biotechnical activity, including ethical questions; to present proposals for ethical guidelines for biotechnological activity; to make recommendations concerning applications for approval of contained use and deliberate release, and recommendations for the use of the appeals board in connection with rejected applications; and to disseminate information to the public on issues related to biotechnology.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Norway does not have a strategic plan for the sustainable use of modern biotechnology, but national legislation has special provisions for biotechnology in the Act Relating to the Production and Use of Genetically Modified Organisms. The Gene Technology Act (1993) describes the safety mechanisms and procedures. There are special provisions concerning public information and consultation.

A regulation on Impact Assessment in the Gene Technology Act has been adopted. Guidelines on Procedure concerning applications for deliberate release of GMOs referred to in the Gene Technology Act are also established. An amendment to the Norwegian Gene Technology Act of 1993 was adopted on 23 June 1995. The makes it possible for Norwegian authorities to issue specific regulations with regard to the export of GMOs and for the establishment of Norwegian industries abroad for the production of such GMOs. Deliberate release of GMOs is subject to approval by the competent national authority, the Ministry of Environment.

The amendment is a follow-up to the Convention on Biological Diversity which states that a "Contracting Party (CP) exporting GMOs should provide any available information about the use and safety regulations required by that Party as well as any available information on the potential adverse impact of the specific organism concerned to the CP into which those organisms are to be introduced" (Article 19(4)). However, Norway will await the outcome of the negotiations on a biosafety protocol, more specifically the Advance Informed Agreement (AIA) notification procedures required for transboundary movements of GMOs, before introducing specific regulations on such transboundary movements. Norwegian authorities will contribute actively towards the establishment of international regulations in this regard so that the positive potential within the biotechnology field can be used without endangering the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The Norwegian Government recognizes the importance of the knowledge and rights of indigenous people. Issues of biotechnology are, however, not linked to the rights of indigenous people. Major NGOs in the area of environmentally sound management of biotechnology are the Norwegian Society for Conservation of Nature and the Consumer Council.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

The Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board produces a bimonthly information leaflet that is distributed to most of the high schools and other interested institutions and people. The leaflet highlights ethical and social issues as well as potential benefits and risks related to the use of modern biotechnology. Capacity building is an important element in the negotiation of a biosafety protocol under the CBD.

Research and Technologies 

Sound and sustainable use of modern biotechnology has high priority in Norway. Emphasis is increasingly being put on related R&D activities, both in the private and the public sector. Legislation and research programmes in the field of biotechnology and environment have been strengthened.

Financing 

In 1996, the funding for biotechnology-related projects from the Ministry of Environment to the Norwegian Research Council, the Division for Environment and Development, was approximately US$ 580,000. The Division for Bioproduction and Processing received US$ 5 million for biotechnology-projects from the Ministry of Fisheries, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Oil and Energy.

Cooperation

International contacts and cooperation exist among Norwegian scientists, but they are not specifically funded or advised by international organizations or professional staff. Norway has also contributed to the Fourth European Community Framework Programme on Biotechnology. The Norwegian Research Council runs a research programme on biotechnology and development in developing countries.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Norway to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

Information on cattle breeding in norway is available under
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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INDUSTRY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The policy for ecologically sustainable industrial development is outlined in the Report to the Storting No. 58 (1996-97) "Environmental Policy for a Sustainable Development". The Report suggests the following:

"The Government will clarify the sectors' responsibility for achieving environmental policy goals through sectoral environmental action plans based on the principles of management by objectives and cost effectiveness. In some areas it will be appropriate to include sectoral performance objectives in these action plans. The Government will further develop a national result monitoring system for implemented environmental measures, environmental impacts, and the state of the environment. This will provide the necessary basis for being able to control development in a sustainable direction, for instance by making it possible to see the aggregate environmental impact of the activity within various sectors in an overall context. Furthermore, it will provide a basis for a goal-oriented and cost-effective environmental policy across the sectors, and ensure that environmental concerns are integrated in sector policies in line with the principle of sectoral environmental responsibility. The results will be published on an annual basis as the "Environmental Profile of the Government and the Environmental State of the Nation". The result-monitoring system will be further developed and concretely defined in cooperation between the affected ministries and the municipal sector."

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

A programme for environmental technology was established in 1990 by the Ministry of Industry and Energy in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment to create a basis for industrial growth and prevent environmental degradation. In addition, the European Union's Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EU EMAS) was implemented by Norway in 1995 (EU Council regulation 93/1836).

Some environmental programmes which stimulate the use of ESTs are :

Status 

As of 1998, the Norwegian Pollution Control Agency will grant economic support to the development of sustainable production and consumption within industry. The main objective of these grants is to encourage the use and development of ESTs.

Having achieved significant reductions in emissions from industrial point sources representing a threat to human health, the environmental authorities are now giving priority to the reduction of commonly used chemicals in consumer products potentially harmful to human health. A particular concern is accumulation of toxins in humans and the overall environment as a result of the manufacturing and use of consumer goods. It is difficult to measure the actual numbers and amounts of emitted chemicals. However, the most serious problems pertain to the uncertainty associated with the actual impact of the pollutants from consumer products.

In the European market alone, about 100,000 chemicals are registered. Only a small percentage of these have been studied with regard to their potential hazard to either human health or the environment. The number, as well as the volume of products containing potentially hazardous chemicals are steadily increasing. An escalation in consumption might result in an expansion in the use of hazardous chemicals. There is an urgent need for a development of both comprehensive and explicit knowledge with regard to the hazards posed by chemicals onto human health, while also keeping the extended environmental impact in mind.

Pollution of freshwater by industry is no longer a major problem, although many industrial areas are situated along riverbanks. Several industrial areas are located on the very coast. However, emissions from point sources are greatly reduced as a result of strict measures to achieve abatement.

The food and beverage industries are main users of freshwater. Quantity of freshwater is of no limitation to the industry, although, in some parts of the country, quality is.

Green industries in Norway

"Green industries" may be defined in several ways. One possibility is to define all industries that are subject to environmental regulations as green industries. Almost all Norwegian industries could thereby call themselves green. Another possible criterion could be emission per ton of production compared to corresponding production in other countries. According to such a definition a large part of Norwegian industry would be green. Ninety-nine per cent of Norway's electricity production is based on hydroelectric power. Norwegian industry could be defined as green by the use of clean electricity. Several surveys on the environmental industries have been carried out in Norway. The most recent was based on OECD's definition of "environment industries". Core environmental activities according to the OECD definition are: "activities which produce goods and services to measure, prevent, limit or correct environmental damage to water, air and soil, as well as problems related to waste, noise and eco-systems."Non-core activities are defined by OECD as: "Clean technologies, processes, products and services which reduce environmental risk and minimise pollution and material use". Although there is currently no agreement upon methodology to measure their contribution, OECD considers the above mentioned activities as part of the environment industry.All Norwegian businesses with activities within the core definition were included in the survey. Three hundred twenty-four businesses were registered, totalling 11,700 employees. This accounts for approximately 0.6 per cent of total employment and almost 1 per cent of total employment in Norwegian industry. The turnover was NOK 13 billion, with an export of NOK 5 billion. Hence, environmental industries are not very important to the Norwegian economy.

Over the last three-to-four years, Norwegian industry has increased its focus on ESTs as an alternative to "End-of-pipe"-solutions with regard to both production processes and products. The use of life-cycle analysis to identify the specific needs for ESTs has also increased significantly.

Norway annually reports issues related to industrial development to the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The report for 1997 covers issues such as industrial policy and economic conditions.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Norway to the sixth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

For access to the homepage of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, click here:
For information on business and industry and on industrial policy in Norway, click here:
For information on industry and environmental protection from the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority, click here:
A short version of the Norwegian report to OECD in 1997 covering issues such as industrial policy and economic conditions may be found at:

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TRANSPORT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Under the Planning and Building Act, the Government can lay down national policy guidelines which shall apply to the planning processes at local and regional levels across the country. National Policy Guidelines for Coordinated Land-use and Transport Planning include instructions on which considerations and solutions should receive priority to achieve better coordination of land use, the pattern of development, and the resulting need for transport. Environmental impact assessments (EIA) should be carried out for major projects.

In 1991, Norway introduced a CO2 tax which at present is applied to sources of 60% of Norwegian CO2 emissions, but covers almost all energy related emissions. Exemptions from the CO2-tax are intended to preserve international competitiveness related to mineral oils used in air transport, ships engaged in foreign trade, the North Sea supply fleet and the national fishing fleet.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Land use planning and management have recently been developed and are discussed in a White Paper on Regional Planning and Land Use Policy to be presented in March 1997. This White Paper deals, among other topics, with planning in mountain areas, coastal zones, rivers, and cultural landscapes, and gives guidelines for reducing transport through spatial planning.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

In 1993, the central authorities initiated cooperation with five Norwegian cities for the development of environmental cities. The main idea is to develop a holistic approach through which measures to alleviate many problems connected with living conditions and the environment can be integrated. Coordinated land use and transport planning, with emphasis on environmentally sound transport, is one of six priority areas.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Environment has initiated a project in which the experiences of a number of municipalities with regard to the use of EIA principles in land use planning are collected and analyzed. The Ministry, in cooperation with other ministries, is also encouraging the application of EIA principles to sectoral programmes including transport. A research project has been established to look into current practice in the transport sector and propose improvements.

The Government gives high national priority to the use of more energy-efficient and environmentally safe technologies. There are several projects which promote the development of environmental technology, especially in the fields of transport and energy.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Norway to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

For access to the homepage of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, click here:

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SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

In 1995, the Ministry of Environment established the Norwegian Centre for Sustainable Production and Consumption (GRIP). GRIP collaborates with organizations in specific business areas to develop, field test, and promote methods that increase eco-effectiveness (value added per unit environmental load). GRIP has published a manual "GRIP Bicycle Tourism" on how to develop bicycle based tourism packages. In addition, the Norway Government has addressed the issue of eco-tourism in forest areas.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Norway to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.



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