Rising temperatures, rising emissions
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that the global mean temperature will rise by between 1.1°C and 6.4ºC by 2100. This is likely to be the most rapid temperature rise for 10 000 years.
Just how much the temperature rises will depend partly on the volume of greenhouse gas emissions. Consumption is rising and the volume of transport is growing, and people are using more and more energy, particularly from sources such as coal, oil and gas. This is true not only in rich countries, but also in developing countries, which want to share our prosperity.
In recent years, emissions of greenhouse gases have varied stronger than before. This reflects the large fluctuations in the global economy. But the overall trend is still that greenhouse gas emissions are increasing.
Developing countries hardest hit
People across the world will probably experience more frequent and more severe extreme weather events as a result of climate change – storms and flooding, heat waves and drought. Rising sea levels will submerge low-lying areas. Arid regions may become even dryer.
Habitats and species will be affected, people’s livelihoods may be threatened, and diseases may spread more quickly.
Developing countries, which are least equipped to adapt to climate change, will be hit particularly hard.
Global cooperation is essential
Global emissions must be cut by 50–85% by 2050 to limit global warming sufficiently. This will only be possible with major changes in our production and consumption patterns.
Norway’s committment under the Kyoto Protocol is to limit its emissions in the period 2008–12 to no more than one per cent higher than in 1990. Norway has later decided to voluntarily strengthen its Kyoto commitment by 10 percentage points.
We are using instruments such as the CO2 tax and the national emissions trading scheme to achieve our goals, and new technology is being developed. We will also provide financial support for measures to reduce emissions in other countries, mainly developing countries.