21: Real cooperation
The temperature in the Arctic is increasing twice as fast as the global average and the climate effects are more apparent in the Arctic than anywhere else in the world. What is Norway doing to prevent this?
Briksdalsbreen, the known glacier not far away from Volda, is a good example: since the 2000’s it has been reducing and it will probably disconnect from the landscape. However, Nordic countries aren’t the most polluted. China is well ahead and represents 23.2% of he global greenhouse gas emissions. The relatively small country of Norway represents only 0.05% of emissions.
What is happening?
Our planet is warming.
Glaciers are melting.
Sea levels increasing.
Crops are diminishing.
Drinking water resources reducing.
Animal and plant species disappearing.
Natural disasters happening.
Climate refugees are arriving.
From competition to cooperation
From the 30th of November to the 11th of December, a United Nations Conference on climate change (COP21) is being held in Paris, France. Roughly 40,000 participants will exchange views on global warming. 195 countries will be represented. The purpose is to find a common lasting agreement to limit the global temperature to 2 degrees in the next few years. Each country should give a personal contribution, which is an engagement in their emission reduction goal, for the worldwide aim. The number of participants shows a realization but the stakes are high and not all of the countries have the same financial means to support a development which is respectful to the environment. That is why countries have to cooperate by helping themselves and by helping each other. Climate experts estimate that we have to decrease 40%-70% of our greenhouse gas emissions. This is an impossible task without acting together and reaching a real cooperation.
On the 27th of March in 2015, Norway delivered its climate aim at the COP21. Norway has undertaken the task of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, compared to those in 1990. Moreover, Norway is a Nordic country and also participated at the meeting “Nordic Climate polutions to Emission Reduction” on the 13th of October. After the meeting, there was quick action: The Norwegian capital wants to ban cars in the center of Oslo by 2019 to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The replacement solution is the creation of many bicycle lanes and a growth of public transportation services. The main goal is for Norway to be carbon neutral by 2050. Also it’s important to know that Norway is the country with the most electric cars. There are currently 13,000 and the goal is to reach 50,000 by 2050. In order to assure this, electric cars have many advantages like passing the tollgate without paying taxes and circulation on private bus lanes to avoid traffic jams.
Norway wants to continue environmental research and spends money on that. A lot of international scientific research is conducted in Svalbard, an archipelago in the North of Norway and new projects have been generated there. The “Doomsday seed bank”– otherwise known as the “Svalbard Global Seed Vault” – is one of them, and its aim is to preserve the vegetal diversity of the planet for the future. Located on the island of Spitsbergen (Svalbard archipelago) inside a mountain is a secure vault that can hold up to 4,5 million samples of seeds. Many nations keep their collections there to be able to replant their crops in case there is an agricultural disaster. The idea was launched by the Norwegian government in 1989 and it was supported by Nordic depositary countries and organizations (like Gates). Then, the structure was opened in February 2008.
Norway is a polar country leader and has much knowledge to offer about the climate, natural resources management, security and processing in emergencies. One thing is certain, Norway will never give up moving forwards thanks to its research, its determination to be respectful to the environment and its dedication to keeping its amazing nature.