Norway considers ramping up climate spending at expense of overseas aid

Norway considers ramping up climate spending at expense of overseas aid
Prime Minister Erna Solberg. File photo: AFP
Norway’s ruling Conservative (Høyre) party programme committee thinks that the country should draw from its international aid budget in order to invest in climate goals.

The committee wants to take 12 billion kroner of aid money and spend it on climate, NRK reports. That would give climate double the spending of international aid, according to the broadcaster.

Climate is one of four main focus areas for the party which is seeking to consolidate after seven years in power, NRK writes.

“Climate change is the biggest problem facing the world. High temperatures, extreme weather and weakened ecosystems put our very foundations at stake. It is a threat to our future welfare and growth,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said at the party’s national conference on Sunday.

The Conservative party’s programme committee is responsible for finding measures that will provide funding for climate action.

“I think we can double the level of assistance to climate measures from what we have today,” the head of the committee, Linda Hofstad Helleland, told NRK.

Minister for Development Dag-Inge Ulstein, of coalition party the Christian Democrats, is positive about spending more money on climate.

“What is important is climate adaptation and preventing natural disasters,” Ulstein told NRK.

“People are already affected, people have died because of climate change and people are displaced because of climate change. People are driven into extreme poverty because of the same climate changes. So I’m very happy when I hear that people want to do more,” he added.

But the development minister stressed that this should not be at the expense of measures for the world's poor.

The Conservatives have called for a thorough review in order to achieve climate targets.

“We think a thorough review is needed of how we get the best possible assistance for the money. Clean energy helps people in developing countries, but so does our common climate goal,” Helleland said.

Norway should contribute to enabling as many countries as possible to comply with the targets in the Paris Agreement, she said.

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