(Jun 22, 2007)

Norway plans to be carbon neutral by 2050

From AP

OSLO, Norway (AP) - The government on Friday outlined steps needed for Norway to achieve its ambitious plan to reduce net greenhouse emissions to zero by 2050.

Measures include banning oil-based heating of new buildings and the disposal of biodegradable waste starting in 2009. The government also said it will boost its investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy by up to 10 billion kroner (euro1.25 billion; US$1.67 billion) by 2012.

Domestic measures will account for at least half of the planned cuts in carbon dioxide emissions, while the rest will be achieved through buying carbon credits related to investments in projects that reduce emissions in developing countries.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who presented a basic outline of the plan in April, said Norway will also be a driving force for an ambitious global climate agreement to replace the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012.

Critics said the government's plan relied too heavily on efforts abroad.

The plan calls for reducing CO2 emissions by 30 percent, or 24 million tons, by 2020. The government said further cuts and carbon credits would reduce Norway's net emissions to zero in the following three decades.

''Norway will be carbon neutral by 2050,'' the government said in a statement.

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