Norway Norway

Norway ranks 12th in this year’s CCPI, down two places and receiving an overall high rating.

As one of the countries with the highest renewable energy shares, it earns it a very high in that category, but its high energy consumption earns it a very low in Energy Use. It receives a low in Climate Policy and a high in GHG Emissions.

Norway is a frontrunner in renewable energy, but at the same time, it’s one of the world’s largest oil and gas exporters. Norway is among the 20 countries with the largest developed oil and gas reserves. The Scandinavian country is looking to expand its fossil fuel production, including in the Arctic. In addition, the Norwegian government has announced its intention to allow commercial mineral extraction through deep-sea mining, which poses a threat to the habitats of numerous deep-sea species. The CCPI experts report that the current government (like previous governments) is promising to provide a stable and predictable environment for its industry – ’to develop, not phase out, oil and gas.’ This includes how it uses its majority stake in Equinor, which is seeking approval for several controversial new oil projects globally in the coming period.

The year 2023 looks set to be a record year for new oil and gas field approvals, thanks in part to the rush of projects resulting from the tax relief and deferral package during the COVID pandemic. The country’s carbon-pricing framework contains a tax break for the oil sector, showing how the fossil fuel industry profits from the legislative framework. Our experts, therefore, call for a starkly different policy approach from the government.

Norway’s challenge: High per capita energy consumption

Consistent with our findings from the quantitative part of the CCPI, the experts report that Norway’s challenge is its high per capita energy consumption. They also point out that the country lacks a comprehensive policy addressing the energy efficiency target.

The experts report that Norway is not meeting its own (10%) targets for forest protection. Programmes to plant inappropriate non-native species, for instance, are causing further problems. They also criticise the tendency for local councils to approve various infrastructure projects (such as highways, energy projects, and second home settlements), as each local council’s decision has a large cumulative effect nationally.

Tensions are rising around large wind farms, which not only threaten biodiversity but also lead to conflicts with the indigenous Sami people who live in the areas where these large projects are being installed. These conflicts have led to complaints filed with UN treaty bodies. The government lost a case in the country’s Supreme Court in 2021, about wind farms violating Sami reindeer herding rights, but has not corrected the problem despite the ruling. This led to huge protests by Sami and young environmental activists this year.

The experts’ assessment of Norway’s international performance notes that the country is doing relatively well in climate finance, particularly regarding the rainforest. Yet, despite huge government revenues from high gas and oil prices, funding is increasingly moving towards leveraging private finance. The experts criticise the government and its negotiators for keeping oil and gas completely separate from discussions on climate change policy, both domestically and internationally. Another object of criticism is that changes in the way money is allocated – through regional allocations rather than thematic allocations (e.g. specific programmes for renewable energy) ˆ– is making it increasingly difficult to assess Norwegian development funds’ impact on climate action.

Experts call for an end to fossil fuel extraction and exploration

Considering the above issues, our experts have developed a clear set of demands aimed at putting Norway on track to meet its climate targets through domestic action. In addressing the ’country’s high profits from fossil fuel extraction, they call for an end to exploration. The government should develop a plan for a just transition of the oil and gas industry – one that creates alternative jobs. Norway should also join and lead efforts, such as BOGA, to jointly reduce oil and gas production. The experts call for coherence in transport policy, higher and more equitably distributed carbon taxes, and plans for massively reducing consumption. Finally, they call for strategies to meet energy efficiency targets.

Though Norway has been successful in building an almost entirely renewable electricity system, it should commit to phasing out fossil fuels.

Key Outcomes

  • Norway ranks 12th in this year’s CCPI
  • The year 2023 looks set to be a record year for new oil and gas field approvals
  • Key demands: end fossil fuel extraction and exploration, more coherence in transport policy, higher and more equitably distributed carbon taxes, plans for massively reducing consumption, and strategies to meet energy efficiency targets


CCPI experts

The following national experts agreed to be mentioned as contributors for this year’s CCPI:

Key Indicators

CCPI 2024: Target comparison