Oslo Ups the Ante on Civic Climate Ambitions
Norway’s capital city plans to halve its greenhouse gas emissions within 48 months, putting other vaunted municipal climate goals in the shade.
New York City has been applauded for setting out to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. Vancouver, boasting its green cred, has set the same target and pushed one step farther, committing to derive all its energy from renewable sources by the same mid-century date.
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But that target is more than three decades hence.
Not only does Oslo plan to get more than halfway to the same reduction by 2020, it has set itself an even tougher challenge. Whereas New York’s aspirational 80% cut is calculated against its actual emissions in 2005, and Vancouver’s to what it released in 2007, Oslo is calculating its targeted reductions against a more stringent benchmark: the lower level of emissions it recorded in 1990.
To get there, FastCo.Exist reports, the city is proposing 42 new measures to cut emissions. “Taxis will stop using gas by 2020; public transit will also go fossil-free. New infrastructure will help reduce freight emissions. The city is also rolling out new parking restrictions, tools, and building more bike lanes.” Homes and apartments heated with oil will also be phased out.
If the pace seems extreme, Glen Peters, senior researcher at Norway’s Center for International Climate and Environmental Research, defends Oslo as “the only city or region that I know of that has a goal which is consistent with [limiting global warming to] 1.5°C.”
Take that, Vancouver and New York.