A Case for Climate Neutrality

see coming. We believe these companies and our region will be future economic and political winners.”

Some companies are also looking well beyond the emissions arising from their own operations for opportunities to reduce climate change impacts, even though they are not required to do that to qualify for carbon neutral status. Themajor Norwegian energy supplier, Fjordkraft, for example, has a relatively low climate impact from its own activities, as it uses 100 per cent renewable energy. Fjordkraft’s Arild Soldal says the greatest contribution the company can make is to demand climate neutrality from its suppliers, who are responsible for emissions on a far larger scale. “Climate neutrality was made an absolute demand from2011. If you want to be a supplier for our company, you’ll have to be climate neutral,” says Soldal. As for Norway’s climate neutral ambitions as a country, it is still early days. The government has agreed to invest €600 million each year to purchase carbon offsets, even if they are not required to do so for the country to meet its emissions reduction target under the Kyoto Protocol. Norway has become a leading global player in the carbon trading market, and a champion of funding schemes in the developing world to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Norway is, for example, the first contributor to the Brazilian Government’s Amazon Fund, pledging up to $1 billion over the next 10 years to schemes helping to combat rainforest destruction and support sustainable livelihoods. The reality of Norway’s carbonneutral commitment still seems rather intangible to many of its citizens—and the impacts of its oil exports will not be included in the commitment. But places like Arendal are showing that once it catches on, climate neutrality can produce networks of committed companies and institutions that, together, make a significant contribution towards reducing the climate footprint well beyond the city’s boundaries.

Photo: courtesy of Aust-Agder county


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