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Norway bans use of heating oil in buildings

Recent statistics show that 80,000 Norwegian homes and an additional 20,000 non-residential buildings are heated with fossil-based oil. They will have more than two years to replace their equipment before the ban comes into effect in 2020.

The Norwegian Government hopes that the upcoming ban will result in a reduction of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by 340,000 tons per year, compared to overall national emissions of 53.9 million tonnes in 2015.
READ MORE: China begins first of eight large-scale carbon capture projects
Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen said:

Those using fossil oil for heating must find other options by 2020. Recommended alternatives to oil-based products include heat pumps, electricity from the country’s hydroelectric grid and even special stoves burning wood chips. Additional measures could include limitations on the use of natural gas for heating.

Until the 1950s, wood was the heating fuel of choice in Norway, with some competition from coal in urban areas. By the 1970s these had largely been displaced by heating oil, and to a slightly larger extent by electricity.

Norway plans to make sharp cuts in emissions by 2030 under the Paris climate agreement. However, Norway’s emissions were 3.3 percent above 1990 levels last year while neighboring Sweden has made significant cuts in emission.

Buildings account for around 40 percent of energy consumption and 40 percent of CO2 emissions on a global basis. By changing the built environment to be more energy-efficient and climate-friendly, the building sector can play a major role in reducing the threat of climate change.

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