Climate Action

Oslo to reduce emissions by 50% in four years

Norwegian capital Oslo has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent compared to 1990 in four years – which would be the fastest change a city has ever had

  • 17 October 2016
  • William Brittlebank

Norwegian capital Oslo has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent compared to 1990 in four years – which would be the fastest change a city has ever had.

France, as a comparison, has reduced emissions by 5 per cent a year when shifting from fossil fuels to nuclear.

Norway’s capital emissions targets are in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C.

Glen Peters, senior researcher at Norway's Center for International Climate and Environmental Research said: "[Oslo] is certainly the only city or region that I know of that has a goal which is consistent with 1.5 degrees."

The city’s electricity comes mostly from hydropower, and Oslo is now concentrating on other issues related to waste and pollution. For example, last year the country banned private cars from the city centre.

The 42 measures the city is taking to reduce emissions include public transport and taxis to stop using fossil fuel by 2020, new parking restrictions, the building of new bike lanes and new infrastructure to reduce freight emissions.

There has been opposition on the reduction of car use as new bike lanes reduce space for cars on roads, but bikes are growing in popularity in the country.

Oslo’s ambitious targets come from the Greens and other left-wing parties’ winning a majority of seats in the city council last year, enabling quick and efficient action on climate issues.

Peters said: "Other cities might say, 'Well, actually you can do this’... And there are all these other benefits with local air pollution and quality of life. So then you may see a lot of cities following. But it's really quite ambitious."