Norway’s government has announced that it will ban all fossil-fuel cars in the next decade, marking its continued march towards being an entirely fossil-fuel independent nation in less than ten years.
Both sides of Norway’s political spectrum have agreed that the move is viable and necessary for Norway’s future, bar a few questioned officials on the far right who refused to comment on whether the move was going ahead or whether it made financial sense. Despite their protests, the consensus is clear: 100% of Norwegian cars will run on green energy sources by 2025.
The move, if passed, will result in a powerful shift to Norway’s economic model, as it has a robust and healthy petroleum industry. The change, however, has been praised by electric-car genie Elon Musk, who called Norway “a brilliant, brilliant country.” The plan comes on the heels of a similar proposal made last week, that would see Norway become the worlds first country to commit to absolutely 0 deforestation.
With no deforestation of any kind going on, the country’s current reforestation efforts and the commitment to becoming carbon neutral in terms of emissions, it is possible that before the end of the decade Norway could actually become carbon negative, taking in more carbon by photosynthesis in its forests than it produces from fossil fuel burning, industry and vehicle use. If it succeeds in this ambitious and frankly unprecedented endeavour, it will be the first country in the world to become carbon negative since the industrial revolution began.
The only country to suggest a similar move to the ban on petrol cars recently has been Britain, with the Labour party proposing that no further petrol or diesel cars should be sold by 2030. However, Norway’s move is further reaching by far, and much more ambitious. However, while Labour is hamstrung at every opportunity by the Conservatives, UKIP and its own politicians, the political parties of Norway are completely united on the subject. The four major Norwegian parties rule together by a system of proportional representation, and all unanimously agreed on a new climate tax on electricity, beginning next year, which they hope will further limit its usage unnecessarily and save what little non-renewable energy they produce. The tax will also hopefully make the nation more energy efficient as a whole, allowing greater net output from their considerable renewable energy facilities.
The ban also works well with Norwegian trends concerning cars and trucks so far – it already has a very high proportion of electric vehicles on the roads at 24%, and produces a phenomenal amount of its electricity supply from renewable sources, mostly hydroelectric power. All told, a full 99% of Norway’s electricity needs are provided for by renewable sources, the vast majority of which is from hydroelectric dams and wave generators located in the seas around them.
The country also fully plans to triple its wind-power generation capabilities by 2028, resulting in a surplus of clean energy for the country, which will be either sold overseas to neighbouring nations or used to stimulate powerful economic growth at home. All in all, the future looks bright for Norway, and that light is entirely eco-friendly. Don’t leave it on too long though, there’s a tax.
In the words of Elon Musk, “I am really impressed.”