Norway is part of the High Ambition Coalition, the Global Ocean Alliance and the Leaders Pledge for Nature.

The Norwegian Development Agency, Norad, has been tasked with starting efforts to ensure that Norwegian development assistance supports the aims of the Paris Agreement to a greater extent. An action plan has been developed and will be published shortly. The action plan has five action areas: 1) reducing the environmental impact of Norad’s own activities; 2) making climate and environmental development assistance more effective; 3) ensuring that development assistance in all sectors contributes to international development goals, inter alia, through improved handling of climate risk, reduced environmental impact of development assistance and climate and targeted enhanced climate and environment co-benefits; 4) contributing to their main partners’ green transition; 5) supporting national implementation of international environmental agreements.

Norwegian climate finance is at approximately 0.2% of their gross domestic product (GDP). Norway has decided to double its annual climate financing by 2026, from NOK 7 billion in 2020 to NOK 14 billion by 2026, and at least triple its support for adaptation by 2026.

Norway has a national goal to contribute to reduced and reversed loss of tropical forests (National Environmental Goal 5.5). In addition, all strategies and programmes have defined goals and targets that are tracked in national reports and evaluated

Norway’s overall strategies on green recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are presented in Norway’s Green Recovery from COVID-19 Platform for redesign in 2020. Point 4 concerns international co-operation related to climate and forests. 

Climate, environment and the ocean are together one of five main priority areas of Norwegian development assistance.  

Norway has a strong commitment on environment and sustainable development. Climate and the natural environment are to a large degree handled together. Measures for poverty reduction, health, food security and business development are increasingly seen in connection with climate resilience and management of natural resources.  

Prioritised sectors for integration of climate and environment objectives in development are clean energy, food security, forest protection and oceans. Environmental objectives are also to some extent integrated in programmes for job creation, tax systems and vocational training. 

The following strategies and policies integrate climate and environmental objectives: 

  • Strategy on Climate Change, Hunger and Vulnerability: The strategy supports climate-vulnerable societies to adapt to a changing climate. Developing countries are assisted in improving their adaptive capacity to climate change and their capacity for disaster risk reduction and for dealing with climate-related and natural disasters. It is also intended to play a part in ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable food systems built on agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries.

  • Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) strategic areas: Contribute to the reduction and reversal of tropical forest loss to enable a stable climate, preserved biodiversity and sustainable development. There are seven strategic areas: land-use policies, rights of indigenous peoples, carbon markets and international support structures, transparency, deforestation-free commodity markets, deforestation-free financial markets and international forest crime.

  • Food, People and the Environment: The Government’s Action Plan on Sustainable Food Systems in the Context of Norwegian Foreign and Development Policy: Increased sustainable, climate-resilient food production and increased productivity from agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture sectors. Increased sustainable value creation and private sector development in the food sector that ensures stable access to healthy and safe food and reduces food waste. Improved nutrition and sustainable consumption patterns due to improved knowledge and access to healthy and varied diets, safe food and clean drinking water. Sustainable food systems are promoted at national, regional and global levels, and strengthened through institution building.

  • Norway’s Humanitarian Strategy: Support efforts to promote preparedness, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation as part of an integrated approach to reducing vulnerability and humanitarian needs. Promote green humanitarian response and will seek to ensure that climate change and environmental considerations are better integrated into humanitarian efforts. Require Norway’s partners to choose sustainable and more environmentally friendly solutions for their humanitarian operations.

  • The Norwegian Development Program to Combat Marine Litter and Microplastics: Prevent and greatly reduce the extent of marine litter from large sources in developing countries.

  • The Security Council: Norway’s Priorities: Ensure that the Security Council discusses climate-related security threats and that it assesses, on a continual basis, the possible impact of climate change on other issues on its agenda.

  • Blue Ocean, Green Future: Promote a sustainable blue economy in developing countries and contribute towards achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  • The Place of the Oceans in Norway’s Foreign and Development Policy: This White Paper aims to highlight the opportunities the oceans offer for Norway and the challenges that will need to be dealt with, and to describe how Norwegian foreign and development policy can be used to safeguard Norway’s ocean interests and promote the achievement of the UN SDGs. It shows how Norway seeks to support implementation of the recommendations of the high-level panel for sustainable ocean economy, both taking an integrated approach for environment natural resources and development.

  • Panorama: Strategy for Co-operation on Research and Higher Education with Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the USA (2021–2027): Research-based knowledge to achieve the UN SDGs is a prioritised area. Increase internationalisation without increasing the carbon footprint.

  • Better Health, Better Lives: Help to prevent non-communicable diseases through development co-operation by contributing to healthy and sustainably produced food; a healthy environment with clean air and clean energy; […] strengthen efforts to reduce the number of deaths caused by air pollution.

  • Digitalisation for Development: Digital Strategy for Norwegian Development Policy: Digitalisation will be integrated into the Government’s existing thematic priorities for Norway’s development policy, climate, the environment and oceans.

  • Strategy for Norway’s Efforts in the Sahel Region (2021–2025): Promote more sustainable, climate-resilient and productive food production. Strengthen analysis of climate-related security risks. Strengthen efforts to create sustainable, decent jobs.

  • Norad’s Strategy towards 2030: Climate and the environment will be integrated into all Norad’s work and be a leading principle when developing new partnerships and initiatives.

The grant management manual for Norwegian development assistance provides requirements and guidance related to environment and climate. Climate and environment are one of four crosscutting issues in Norwegian development assistance (in addition to gender equality, human rights and anti-corruption). All grant recipients must assess potential negative effects of the projects and programmes on the climate and the environment and implement relevant mitigating measures. Grant managers must assess whether the grant recipients manage this risk sufficiently and follow this up with grant recipients as needed before concluding a grant agreement and before approving reporting on implementation. Requirements on management and reporting of crosscutting issues are included in the agreements with grant recipients. For large and complex projects, typically infrastructure projects, grant recipients must also carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment. Grant managers must ensure that this assessment is satisfactory and follow up with grant recipients when needed. Grant agreements also include provisions that oblige grant recipients to take into account the environmental impact of all planned procurements.  

Some grant scheme rules may, in addition, require proactive components on one or more of the crosscutting issues. Proactive components may also be a requirement in annual government budget proposals (Prop. 1 S) as well as allocation letters for specific geographical or thematic areas. In these cases, more specific objectives must be formulated and followed up. Grant managers are not required to assess the grant recipient’s environmental management except for the management of potential negative effects of the project/programme on the climate/environment. It can still be relevant and important to assess the quality of the grant recipient’s environmental safeguards, environmental objectives for programmes and operations, environmental requirements to sub-grantees and suppliers, and/or other elements of the grant recipient’s environmental management system. This can be done in partner assessments, dialogue in relation to annual meetings or other contacts with grant recipients or through inputs to Norwegian participation in board meetings of multilateral grant recipients. More specific information on requirements related to Norwegian grant management may be found in Norad’s grant schemes and programmes.  

Assessing environmental indicators is mandatory in all programme assessments as one of the crosscutting issues. In programmes with primary environment and climate change objectives, the monitoring of results on those aspects is the core of all monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) activity.

Norway is and has been a donor to the financial mechanisms (e.g. Green Climate Fund [GCF], Global Environment Fund [GEF], Adaptation Fund, Ozonfund) of the international agreements regarding climate and environment with the aim of supporting partner countries’ own strategies.

Norway is in the process of establishing a major funding agreement with the NDC Partnership through the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) as the funding channel. The key purpose of this is to assist countries in the process of establishing high-quality Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and support their implementation. Norway has previously provided support to the Climate Action Enhancement Package of the NDC Partnership to enhance the quality, increase the ambition, and implement NDCs.

Norway is planning a major programme for bilateral NDC co-operation with selected partner countries. This co-operation will contain, among others, policy development support, institutional strengthening, joint research and education activities, private sector initiatives, greenhouse gas (GHG) monitoring and reporting capacity and support to implementation of green transition strategies, etc.

Norway supports initiatives such as the Biodiversity Finance (BIOFIN) Initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which assists developing countries in incorporating biodiversity comprehensively into their national development planning and financial strategies, including their National Biodiversity and Strategy Action Plans (NBSAPs).

Through Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, (NICFI), the country supports REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) strategies and other national strategies aimed at reducing GHG emissions and promoting green growth. 

Norway supports access to affordable, sustainable and clean energy in many developing countries, both bilaterally and through multilateral partners. 

Norway’s Action Plan for Sustainable Food Systems is designed to assist low-income countries in feeding their own population by focusing on: 1) increased sustainable climate-resilient food production; 2) higher sustainable value-creation and improved markets; 3) healthier nutrition and diets; and 4) better policy and governance. Norway supports more than 50 projects and programmes in developing countries in the implementation of the Action Plan. The main result is increased food security for millions of poor people. 

Norway supports international measures to reform subsidies for fossil fuel consumption, and supports international environmental agreements aimed at increasing professional capacity and strengthening institutions’ development of strategies for green growth and economic development. 

Norway contributes to a sustainable and inclusive ocean economy both nationally and internationally, including through capacity-building programmes in fisheries and ocean management. Norway has ambitious goals to assist developing countries in reducing ocean plastic pollution.  

Norad’s Strategy, Environmental Policy and forthcoming Environmental Action Plan aim to strengthen Norwegian support to developing countries’ transitions to a resilient, low-carbon society. Efforts will be made to identify types of development assistance that can have transformational effects, contributing to broad changes in society beyond the immediate results of projects and programmes.

Infrastructure support is included in some of the Clean Energy programmes, in addition to support through multilateral institutions.

  • In collaboration with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Norway supports, for example, the Climate-Resilient Green Economy Strategy in Ethiopia. This type of support is also offered in other partner countries in Latin America and Asia. 

  • The UN-REDD programme, where Norway is the main donor, supports transition strategies with a focus on forest conservation and management in a high number of countries. Other investments through multilateral agencies (e.g. Forest Carbon Partnership Facility [FCPF], BioCarbon Fund, GGGI) support similar processes. 

  • The Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) is one of the main instruments for investments in, among others, energy production in low- and middle-income countries. Norfund’s largest business priority sector is clean energy with a committed portfolio of NOK 12.9 billion (USD 1.4 billion) by the end of 2020 – almost half of Norfund’s total portfolio. Norfund's total investments in new renewable energy since its inception contribute to 8 million tonnes of CO2 in avoided annual emissions of greenhouse gases, which is equivalent to one-sixth of Norway's annual emissions, or all Norwegian passenger cars and heavy vehicles. The power plants Norfund invested in 2020 produced 17.5 Terawatt-hours of electricity; this corresponds to the total annual consumption of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.  

  • The Norwegian government has decided to allocate NOK 10 billion over a period of five years for a new fund that will invest in renewable energy in developing countries with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Climate Investment Fund is an essential part of Norway’s contribution to achieving the goals set out in the Paris Agreement and the SDGs. The Fund’s objective is to invest in renewable energy projects, particularly in countries with high emissions from coal-fired power plants and thus contribute to the efforts to phase out coal. The Fund will be managed by Norfund. 

  • Norway supports several clean energy programmes implemented by, among others, Energising Development (EnDev), Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA), Sustainable Energy Fund (SEFA), Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) and Clean Energy Fund (CEF). These programmes provide clean cooking stoves and access to electricity. Norway also supports competence development programmes, including institutional co-operation between Norwegian and partner country institutions, in the fields of hydropower, energy data, energy market reform and e-mobility.  

  • In 2018, Norway established a development aid fund to combat marine litter and microplastics that will run for six years. Norway contributes to the UN Decade on Ocean Science, and is a member of the Ocean Decade Alliance, of which the Norwegian Prime Minister is patron. In 2020, Norway entered into a four-year agreement with the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) on co-operation on capacity-developing activities in the Caribbean, Pacific and African regions. In 2018, Norway initiated an international declaration against transnational organised crime in the global fishing industry and launched the Blue Justice Initiative in 2019. 

  • Through the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), Norway supports adaptation and mitigation projects in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). NDF committed EUR 40 million to new projects in 2019 and has a total portfolio of EUR 410 million. 

The Strategy on Climate Change, Hunger and Vulnerability refers specifically to the needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). SIDS are also a geographical focus of the marine litter programme. The UN-REDD programme (mainly funded by Norway) includes several SIDS in its programmes. Norway also supports the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) with NOK 21 million over three years to support capacity building and facilitation for the group in negotiations. Through the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Norway provides support to the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative. Norway furthermore supports the Pacific Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) in Tonga. 

Norway did not report activities in this area.

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