The Facts on: Norway’s alleged plan to “prohibit sales of all vehicles using fossil fuels by 2025”
There has been a bit of confusion about Norway’s plans for fossil fuel powered vehicles lately. As one of Norway’s primary newspapers printed their Coalition Government announced to have agreed on a plan prohibiting sales of all vehicles using fossil fuels, this in a country where almost a quarter of all cars already run on electricity rather than fossil fuels.
The Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv indicated the consensus has been reached among politicians from both sides of the political spectrum which culminated in a concrete agreement that 100 per cent of Norway’s cars should be powered by green energy by 2025. Norway joins the Netherlands, one of the most bicycle-friendly countries in the world, in proposing the fossil fuel-powered vehicle bans.
The complete ban will take place in the next decade, and will apply to all petrol and diesel powered cars, continuing Norway’s path to becoming one of the most ecologically progressive countries in Europe, and the world.
Although the new laws wouldn’t ban existing petrol or diesel cars it would stop car dealers selling them new. This would in turn slowly kill off petrol stations.
A hugely ambitious target, that will probably turn Norway into the world leader in pushing renewable energy, a curious decision though, for a country which is one of the largest oil exporters in the world due to its massive oil and gas reserves in the North Sea. And therefore a large proportion of Norway’s funds rely on the country’s petroleum industry.
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However, the statements were not questioned as Norway is not new in taking bold steps towards being a greener, ecologically progressive country:
- The four parties, who rule together through a system of proportional representation, have also agreed a new climate tax on electricity.
- The country recently confirmed that it would be the first country to commit to zero deforestation.
- In Norway’s energy production of which 99 per cent is provided through its on hydroelectric plants.
- Norway also aims to triple its capacity of wind power by 2020, with a new $3bn investment in the sector approved in 2013.
Therefore the ambiguity lies in whether the plan has been legally enforced yet, which is a definite no. Other papers quickly printed it was still in the later stages of negotiation. And although the Democratic Party and the Liberal Party, who support the government in a confidence and supply arrangement, have corroborated Dagens Naeringsliv’s report, the FRP have said the move is still being looked at, denying that the plan has been confirmed.
And although DN quoted Liberal spokesman Ola Elvestuen as saying “there will only be sales of zero-emissions vehicles in 2025), a press release from government coalition party the Conservatives (Høyre) called the DN report “misleading”. Elvestuen attempted to clarify his statement by saying that the parties had only agreed to “set target numbers for how many low- and zero-emissions” there should be in Norway by 2025 in order to reach climate goals that will be presented next year as part of a national transport plan. “We have not reached an agreement on how to reach the goals,” he said.
Meaning the major political parties who were previously unable to agree on legislation have now reportedly reached a general accord, although it may still need some tweaking before the agreement becomes law.