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Norway - Sustainable Development: Climate Change and Fisheries Policies

  • Paul O'Brien


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 costefficient 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 document 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. This Working Paper relates to the 2010 Economic Survey of Norway. ( Développement durable: changement climatique et politique de la pêche Le développement durable occupe une place de premier plan dans l’élaboration de l’action publique en Norvège. Le pays doit une partie considérable de sa richesse à l’économie carbonée, mais il accorde la priorité aux objectifs de la Stratégie de l’OCDE pour une croissance verte et se considère comme un pionnier dans certains domaines. Partie intégrante de la documentation se rapportant au budget 2008, la stratégie de développement durable définissait les principes clés censés guider l’élaboration des politiques, ainsi qu’une série d’indicateurs quantitatifs destinés à donner une idée des progrès réalisés. L’importance qu’elle accorde à la préservation du capital naturel et au principe de précaution se reflète au demeurant dans les buts assignés à l’action publique en ce qui concerne le changement climatique et les pêches, deux domaines par ailleurs assez différents. Le recours à des instruments présentant un bon rapport coût-efficacité, dans l’optique d’atteindre les objectifs, est aussi au nombre des principes retenus. A beaucoup d’égards, la Norvège a en l’occurrence fait oeuvre de pionnière en créant très tôt une taxe sur le CO2 et des quotas individuels de pêche. Quoi qu’il en soit, certaines mesures empêchent ces instruments de jouer tout leur rôle. En effet, des secteurs importants sont exonérés du paiement de la taxe sur le CO2 et, pour l’instant, exclus du système d’échange de quotas d’émission, et l’échangeabilité des quotas de pêche est soumise à des restrictions. Le présent document est consacré à ces questions. Il en ressort qu’il serait possible de prendre acte plus clairement de certains antagonismes potentiels entre objectifs de développement durable, et que la Norvège peut et devrait poursuivre plus résolument dans la voie des incitations économiques, qu’elle a contribué à ouvrir, de manière à favoriser la réalisation des objectifs de durabilité. Ce document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de la Norvège 2010 (

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 805.

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Date of creation: 06 Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:805-en
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