Greenhouse gas emissions up 1 per cent in 2015
Nature and the environment
klimagassn, Emissions of greenhouse gases, air pollution, greenhouse gases (for example CO2, CH4, N2O), emissions by source (for example oil and gas production, road traffic, air traffic), emissions by industry (for example energy sector, manufacturing, primary industries)Pollution and climate, Nature and the environment

Emissions of greenhouse gases1990-2015, final figures

The statistics on greenhouse gas emissions include carbon dioxide (CO2 ), methane (CH4 ), nitrous oxide (N2O) and fluorinated gases (HFCs, PFCs and SF6 ). The gases are weighted as CO2 equivalents.



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Greenhouse gas emissions up 1 per cent in 2015

Emissions of greenhouse gases from Norwegian territory amounted to 53.9 million tonnes in 2015. This is 0.6 million tonnes, or about 1 per cent, more than the preceding year. The increase is mainly due to higher emissions from oil and gas extraction and manufacturing industries.

Emissions and sinks of greenhouse gases. Million tonnes CO2 equivalents
2015Change in per cent
Since 19902014 - 2015
1Figure for the previous year. The change in per cent shows increase in net uptake in forests since 1990. Source: NIBIO
The figures for forest and land areas in Norway were corrected 15 December 2016.
Emissions from Norwegian territory53.94.21.1
Oil and gas extraction15.183.32.5
Manufacturing industries and mining11.9-39.32.5
Energy supply1.7311.3-0.6
Heating in other industries and households1.2-56.7-1.2
Road traffic10.332.60.3
Aviation, navigation, fishing, motor equip. etc.6.415.3-0.6
Sinks and emissions from forest and land areas in Norway1-25.4-58.83.5

These are the most recent figures on Norwegian greenhouse gas emissions for 1990-2015. All figures are given in CO2 equivalents. The total emissions for 2014 have been adjusted upwards by 0.1 million tonnes compared with the figures published in May 2016. This means that the emission increase from 2014 to 2015 was somewhat lower than previously assumed. 

Higher emissions from manufacturing industries and offshore activities

From 2014 to 2015, the greenhouse gas emissions rose by almost 600 000 tonnes. With that, the greenhouse gas emissions in 2015 were 4.2 per cent higher than in 1990. The major part of the emission increase last year was due to CO2 emissions from oil and gas extraction, where increased production caused more use of natural gas. In manufacturing industry, oil refining and production of fertiliser in particular contributed to higher CO2 emissions. In addition, more sheep and higher use of fertiliser have caused higher emissions of methane and nitrous oxide from agriculture. 

For offshore activities, the emissions have more or less grown proportionally with the production during the whole period from 1990. In manufacturing industries, new technology and improved process regulation have given significantly lower emissions during the same period. Significant emission reductions due to environmental technology have, however, not taken place since 2008. 

Small changes in emissions from road traffic

The greenhouse gas emissions from road traffic increased only slightly in 2015 compared with 2014. For the last few years, the annual emissions from this source have been about 10 million tonnes – approximately 30 per cent higher than in 1990. 

While road traffic measured in mileage has risen by approximately 17 per cent since 2005, the greenhouse gas emissions grew by only 7 per cent in the same period. This is mainly due to new cars being more fuel efficient and the growth in use of diesel engines over petrol. 

Use of electricity and bio fuels will not lead to greenhouse gas emissions from road traffic in these statistics. Electric cars constituted 2.6 per cent of registered private cars at the end of 2015. The share of renewable energy used for transport has been just below 5 per cent during the last years. 

Lower emissions of the strongest greenhouse gases

For the first time since use of the strong greenhouse gases called HFCs began in the 1990s, emissions of these were reduced in 2015. These gases are used in a variety of products, such as air conditioners in cars and buildings, heat pumps, and for refrigeration. The emissions are small in comparison with the other greenhouse gases in these statistics, but the potential for growth is vast, since use of the aforementioned products is growing. The introduction of an import tax on this kind of gas in 2003 is assumed to be responsible for the slowing down in the growth and eventually the weak reduction in 2015. 

Emissions covered by the emission trading scheme

Emissions of greenhouse gases from companies liable under the emission trading scheme totalled 27.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents in 2015. Emissions covered by quotas made up 51.8 per cent of the total emissions of greenhouse gases from Norwegian territory. Emission quotas for 17.6 million tonnes were allocated for free in 2015, corresponding to 63 per cent of the total quota emissions.

Targets for the Norwegian climate policyOpen and readClose

  • Norway shall over-fulfil the Kyoto obligation by 10 per centage points in the first obligation period
  • By 2020, Norway shall reduce the global greenhouse gases with 30 per cent of the Norwegian emissions in 1990
  • Norway shall be carbon neutral in 2050
  • As part of a global and ambitious climate treaty, where also other industrial nations assume great obligations, Norway shall have a binding target about carbon neutrality in 2030 at the latest. This means that Norway shall provide for emission reductions equivalent to Norwegian emissions in 2030

Updated estimations for road traffic and agricultureOpen and readClose

Updating of data and estimation methodologies is done routinely for the whole time series in these statistics, in accordance with international guidelines. Important changes in the present estimations include updating of the model for road traffic and changes in the calculations for agriculture. 

For road traffic, the model used to estimate emission factors, «Handbook of Emission Factors» (HBEFA), has been updated to a newer version. For greenhouse gases, this has consequences only for methane and nitrous oxide, since constant emission factors connected to the different fuels are used for CO2

For agriculture, a revision in the use of livestock statistics has caused higher emissions of nitrous oxide, but lower methane emissions.