OECD Releases Review of Norway’s Environmental Protection

19 May 2011: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published its review of the environmental performance of Norway, which praises Norway's pioneering role in environmental protection, but calls for further action, notably in addressing climate change and protecting biodiversity.

The “OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Norway 2011” underlines the strengthening of environmental policies that have lead to high air and water quality, and a reduction in the number of threatened species. The report notes, however, that Norway's GDP rose by 18% from 2000-2009, and that this economic growth has increased many environmental pressures. It therefore calls for further efforts to achieve ambitious climate targets, and underscores that the country still faces major challenges in the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

Regarding biological diversity, the report highlights that: Norway's protected areas do not sufficiently cover all nature types; the country lacks overall targets and objectives for forest protection; the conservation of biodiversity within protected areas is not sufficiently secured; large carnivore numbers are increasing but that protection targets for them are too low; and increasing aquaculture poses a threat to fish stocks, water quality and biodiversity in Norwegian coastal waters and possibly beyond.

On climate change, the report lauds Norway's carbon tax, its joining the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS), and other mitigation measures. However, it also calls for: a more consistent price for carbon across the economy; the development of an economy-wide energy efficiency strategy; and a review of transport taxes and exemptions. [OECD Press Release] [Publication Website] [Publication: Executive Summary of OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Norway 2011]