The oil-rich country of Norway is set to double the carbon tax on its North Sea oil industry, setting up a $1.6 billion fund to combat climate change in developing countries. This is one of the most progressive climate change programs put forth by an oil-producing nation in, well, history.
The country also plans to distribute funds to go toward climate change mitigation, renewable energy, food security in developing countries, and conversion to low-carbon energy sources.
The Oslo government also plans to spend $111 million on carbon credits in 2013 to help offset emissions, forcing new building regulations into effect that will make all homes carbon-neutral by 2015 and help push the switch to electric vehicles.
This is going to cause some serious competition and raise the expectations of other oil-producing nations who are cutting their own emissions but not doing as much, if anything, to tackle problems outside their own borders.
The main plan of the Norway government is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% below 1990 levels by 2020.
This is huge, because I think what many people forget is that the environment doesnâ€™t stop at the border. â€œThink globalâ€ has never had more meaning as a phrase than it does when it comes to cleaning up the atmosphere. Do you think other countries will catch on to this?
Image CC licensed by Stig Nygaard: oil rig in the North Sea