Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has proposed to open a 127,000-square-mile area of the Norwegian Sea to deep-sea mining (Mongabay). This region of the sea bed, roughly the size of Germany, has been found to contain large quantities of rare earth metals and minerals, such as magnesium, copper, and zinc (Reuters).
On March 28, Norway’s government announced it would levy a 35% resource tax on profits from the salmon and trout farming industry, thus sharing the profit that the industry derives from its access to the country’s common resources. The government initially proposed a 40% tax on fish farms last September, but retracted its proposal after fish farm stock prices quickly plummeted (Reuters).
Last Tuesday, Norway’s $1.2 trillion dollar investment fund announced plans to push the companies it invests in to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The fund is one of the world’s largest investors, and owns an average of 1.3% of all listed global stocks.
Norway’s oil ministry plans to auction up to 136 new exploration blocks, including 125 in the Arctic Barents Sea, for oil and gas extraction. “We need new discoveries to uphold employment and value creation. I have good faith that the opportunities we now offer in the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea will be attractive to companies,” said Tina Bru, Norway’s minister of petroleum and energy.
Norway and Germany have suspended their funding to the Amazon Fund, criticizing President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policies. Ola Elvestuen, Norway´s environment minister, stated that Brazil broke an agreement with Norway and Germany by eliminating the board and the technical committee of the Fund with no plans for replacement. Created in 2008, the Amazon Fund finances projects to protect the Amazon rain forest. Norway is the largest contributor to the Fund, donating $1.2 billion to date, followed by Germany at $68 million.
Nearly a decade after Indonesia and Norway signed an agreement to preserve Indonesia's rainforests, Indonesia is ready to receive funding from Norway for reducing its carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation in 2017.
Plastic waste is building up in the wilderness of the Norwegian Arctic. Researchers are particularly concerned about huge concentrations of microplastic fragments in sea ice. Norwegian fishermen are worried that their fish stocks may lose their reputation for being untouched by pollution. A report from the Norwegian Polar Institute to the recent Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø says there's a great need for more research into the extent of possible harm from plastic. For the full story see http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42947155.
Norway will study ways to make its economy greener and reduce dependence on oil and gas. The government believes oil reserves are likely to lose value amid efforts to slow climate change. A government commission will examine ways to insulate itself from financial risks linked to climate change, and the government believes it needs to look for new businesses based on emerging technology to meet its goals. For the full story see http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-norway-climatechange/norway-to-study-s…
Norway told visiting Brazilian President Michel Temer that it would slash its payments to help safeguard the Amazon rainforest in 2017 by more than half, to about $35 million, because of a rise in forest destruction. Norway has invested more than $1.1 billion in an Amazon Fund since 2008 to help Brazil protect the forests, which are under threat from logging and their conversion to farmland. Temer said Brazil was working to protect the Amazon, for example by expanding national parks. Brazil's deforestation climbed to 8,000 square kilometres (3,088 square miles) in 2016.
Norway's sovereign wealth fund will ask the banks in which it has invested to disclose how their lending contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. The fund has in the past measured the carbon footprint of its investments in equities and bonds, and now is pushing companies to disclose both their carbon emissions and their plans to handle the risk of climate change. The fund does not plan to change how it decides to invest in the U.S., which accounted for nearly 40% of its investments in 2016. For the full story see http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-norway-swf-ceo-idUKKBN18T26V