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Norway’s fair share of an ambitious climate effort

This report aims to gauge Norway’s fair share of the global response to the climate problem, starting from the recognition that equity is important – in fact, necessary – for addressing climate change.

Sivan Kartha, Eric Kemp-Benedict / Published on 12 August 2014

Kartha, S., T. Athanasiou, P. Baer and E. Kemp-Benedict (2014). Norway’s fair share of an ambitious climate effort. Report by SEI and EcoEquity, commissioned by Norwegian Church Aid (Kirkens Nødhjelp).

The report focuses on mitigation, although an equitable approach to adaptation is of course equally important. It uses a flexible and transparent framework for equitable effort sharing that is drawn directly from the core equity principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The analysis is done using the Climate Equity Reference Calculator, an online tool and database that allows the user to select specific equity-related settings relating to responsibility, capacity and other key parameters, and then to use straightforward, standard quantitative indicators to calculate the implied national fair shares of the global mitigation effort. The analysis is based on a range of alternative input selections informed by ethical and empirical considerations that are discussed in more detail within the report.

Norway’s situation as an exceptionally wealthy country whose prosperity has derived in considerable part from the extraction of fossil fuels puts it in a position of having considerable responsibility for the climate problem as well as capacity to help address it. As defined and calculated in the report below, Norway has nearly 1% of the global responsibility and capacity, even though it has less than 0.1% of the world’s population. This suggests that Norway’s fair share of the global mitigation effort would be more than 320 million tonnes CO2e in 2030, if the world is to be on a course that is likely to keep warming below 2°C.

It is infeasible for this entire effort to be undertaken wholly within Norway, as it would imply an emission reduction of nearly 600% below 1990 levels by 2030. However, Norway could fulfil this fair share through a combination of extremely ambitious mitigation efforts domestically of roughly 50%, along with international technological and financial support for mitigation efforts in other countries to achieve roughly 270 Mt CO2e worth of mitigation action.

Download the report (PDF, 973 kb)

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SEI authors

Profile picture of Sivan Kartha
Sivan Kartha

Senior Scientist


Eric Kemp-Benedict
Eric Kemp-Benedict

SEI Affiliated Researcher


Topics and subtopics
Climate : Climate policy, Mitigation
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