Sustainable development

Climate change and fisheries policies

Sustainable development is a key theme in policy making in Norway. Although it owes a considerable part of its wealth to the carbon-based economy, Norway gives priority to the objectives embodied in the OECD Green Growth Strategy and sees itself as a pioneer in some areas. The sustainable development strategy, an integral part of the documentation for the 2008 budget, spelt out the key principles that were intended to guide policymaking and a set of quantitative indicators that are intended to give an indication of progress. Its focus on preserving natural capital and the precautionary principle can indeed be seen to be reflected in Norway’s policy aims on climate change and on fisheries, two otherwise rather different problems. Another principle is the use of cost-efficient means to achieve these policy objectives. In many ways Norway has pioneered the use of such measures, introducing a CO2 tax early on and adopting individual quotas in fisheries. But in other ways policy prevents them from playing their full role, exempting significant sectors from the CO2 tax and now from the emission trading system, and restricting the tradability of quotas in fishing. This chapter explores these issues, noting that some potential conflicts between sustainable development objectives could be given fuller recognition, and that Norway can and should follow through more strongly the logic of its pioneering use of economic incentives to further sustainability goals.

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