Statistical analyses 123

Indicators for sustainable development 2011


This report presents an updated set of Norwegian sustainable development indicators and describes the development of the indicators together with relevant supplementary information. Whilst compiling the report, we have had an effective collaboration with a number of institutions, which have supplied data, text and assessments for various subject areas. A number of divisions and departments in Statistics Norway have made contributions to their respective specialist areas. The main responsibility for compiling the report has rested with the Division for environmental statistics in the Department of economics, energy and the environment. The report has been edited by senior advisers Frode Brunvoll and Kristine E. Kolshus.

Main findings within the policy areas of the Norwegian strategy for sustainable development:

International cooperation for sustainable development and combating poverty

Norwegian official development aid is increasing. In 2010, Norway contributed over 1 per cent of GNI as official development assistance. Following a decrease in 2009, the imports to Norway from developing countries increased again in 2010. However, the imports from the least developed countries decreased substantially.

Climate, ozone and long-range air pollution

The two-year decrease in Norwegian greenhouse gas emissions was followed by a new increase in 2010, when the emissions amounted to 53.7 million tonnes CO2 equivalents. This is 4.8 per cent more than in 2009, and 3.6 million tonnes CO2 equivalents above the Norwegian Kyoto target. In 2010, Norway’s emissions of NOX increased by 4 per cent. This is 20 per cent above the obligation for 2010 set in the Gothenburg Protocol. However, the emissions of the other acidifying gases and NMVOCs were below the obligations.

Biodiversity and cultural heritage

In mountain areas and cultural landscapes the populations of nesting birds have decreased. The figures for forest birds show no clear trend. The water quality in Norway, also including ecological status, is generally good compared to many other European countries. The Nature Index for Norway shows that the greatest challenges concerning biodiversity are in the ecosystems forest and open lowland. A large proportion of the protected historical buildings are in need of renovation.

Natural resources

The energy intensity is decreasing, but the total energy use is still increasing. Despite the improvement in energy efficiency, energy use, of which a large part is based on fossil fuels, is continuing to rise. The percentage renewable energy is not significantly higher today than it was thirty years ago. Several important fish stocks in Norwegian waters are at present at high levels, and they are being harvested sustainably. Irreversible losses of cultivated and cultivable areas result in the loss of the most biologically productive land areas.

Hazardous substances

In 2009, the emissions of CMR substances (carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic) decreased and were at a lower level than in 2002. The emissions of substances dangerous for the environment were somewhat higher in 2009 than in 2002.

Sustainable economic and social development

The national wealth per capita is increasing, and the by far most important component of this wealth is the human capital. The level of education in Norway has increased substantially during the last 30-40 years. Although unemployment is low in Norway by international standards, the proportion of the population who receive a disability pension is high. Life expectancy in Norway is continuing to increase. That we live longer is a positive development, but it also represents important future challenges with respect to pensions and health and care services.

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