Norway to cut climate pollution by 40% by 2030

Norway will cut its emissions of global warming gases by at least 40% by 2030, aligning itself with the target set by the European Union, the government said Wednesday.

The 40% reduction, compared to 1990 levels, will be Norway's pledge to the U.N. climate agreement that's supposed to be adopted in December in Paris, government officials said.

The EU, China and the U.S. have already presented their pledges for the new agreement, though they haven't formally submitted them to the U.N. Submissions are due by the end of March, though many countries say they need more time.

Non-EU member Norway's emissions target matches that of the European bloc, and the government said it wants to join the EU framework for climate policies.

"We have received positive signals from the EU, but negotiations haven't started yet," Environment Minister Tine Sundtoft told The Associated Press by phone.

The government said Norway will continue to participate in the EU's emissions trading system but not use U.N. offsets like investing in clean energy in developing countries. The Scandinavian country has previously relied on offsets to meet its climate targets.

Norway's climate goals are expected to be approved by Parliament because parties representing a majority in the assembly back the plan.

Some environmentalists were disappointed that Norway, which exports oil and gas but gets most of its domestic energy from renewables, didn't set an even higher target. But Frederic Hauge of the Bellona environmental group was positive, saying linking up with the EU would make Norway's target internationally binding.

The U.N.'s scientific panel on climate change last year said greenhouse gas emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, need to be cut by 40-70 percent by 2050 to avoid dangerous levels of warming.

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