Norwegian industry claims emissions cuts

Large firms reduce carbon dioxide, buck national trend with lower power consumption

Norway's emissions of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, fell by more than 2% between 1996 and 1997, the Federation of Norwegian Process Industries (PIL) says in its fourth annual report on environment, health and safety, published this month. Sulphur dioxide emissions declined by over 9%, while nitrogen oxides increased by roughly the same amount. Over the decade to 1997, environmentally hazardous emissions to air and water have declined by 90%, although atmospheric emissions have shown small annual increases since 1995, the report continues. However, these increases are seen as temporary, mainly the result of new start-ups and glitches associated with the introduction of new technology, and far below the level at which the polluter would be obliged to seek concessions. PIL's calculations also show that energy-intensive industries reduced their electricity consumption by about 1% from 1985 to 1997, while energy consumption in Norway as a whole rose by almost 20%. Of PIL's 720 members, 230 are now part of an "environmental responsibility" programme based on a principle of "zero-tolerance" of accidents and emissions to air or water. PIL notes that those involved in the programme tend to be the very largest concerns such as Statoil, Norsk Hydro and Elkem, and there is a need to recruit more SMEs.

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PIL, +47 23 08 78 00.

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