Norway's parties back climate bill: WWF
Norway's major political parties now unanimously support plans to consider a new climate bill, green campaign group WWF has announced.
"We are very pleased with the bipartisan support. A climate bill will make climate policy much more committed," Nina Jensen, the organization's environmental manager, said.
Jensen, who was talking at a conference held by Norway's Environment Ministry in Arendal, said that all parties had agreed to look at including legally binding emissions targets in the bill. Britain has had such a climate bill since 2008, and Denmark and Sweden are both looking at bringing in similar legislation.
The ministry invited James Hansen, one of the world's most respected climate scientists, to speak, as well as Rajendra Pachauri, head of IPCC, an international green body, and John Gummer, the former British environment minister.
Hansen called on Norwegian oil company Statoil to pull out of its "immoral" investments in Canada's oil sands. "If Norway does the right thing and stops this recovery, it will make a big difference and send a clear signal," he said.
Gummer said that Norway would not be able to lecture other countries on the environment until it did more domestically. "Norway will only be listened to if you are doing yourself what you expect others to do," he said. "If you want to take the leadership, you must be at the forefront to begin with."
Pachauri said that even if the world managed to limit temperature increase to between two to four degrees, this would still mean sea levels rising by up to 1.4 metres. "For a large part of the world, this represents a great risk," he said.
Hansen in 2011 sent a letter to the Norwegian government asking them to pressure Statoil to pull out of its investments. The company bought North American Oil Sands Corporation in 2007, giving it access to 1,100 square kilometres of oil sands leases in Alberta.