Norwegian CO2 levels spike

Recent data has shown that Norway’s CO2 emissions increased by nearly five percent in 2010.

The news comes via the country’s state statistics bureau, which said that new data shows that as much as 53.7 million tonnes of CO2 were sent in to the atmosphere last year, despite the country’s efforts to act as a pioneering state in the green movement. The unexpected rise comes after two years of carbon level reductions.

The news has been seen as an embarrassment for Norway’s left-leaning government, which has been a major donor to environmental causes in spite of the country’s oil-driven wealth. Critics have pointed out that Norway remains among the world’s worst environmental offenders, despite Oslo’s green efforts.

According to a EUObserver report, Norway’s prime minister pledged around a billion kroner (EUR140 million) to carbon capturing and storage efforts (CCS) in 2009, igniting criticism from environmental groups which accused Oslo of shifting the focus away from its own problems.

However, a recent statement from Statistics Norway said the rise should be taken in context with recent economic events: “Higher metal production and more transport have contributed most to the increase… The large increase should be regarded in relation to the emission reductions in 2008 and 2009, caused by the financial crisis. In addition, a cold winter with high electricity prices led to an increase in emissions from heating. There were only minor changes from 2009 to 2010 in emissions from agriculture and oil and gas-related activities,” the statement read.

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