Norway's green loan fund runs out of cash

Fund administrator claims three-year programme has had strong environmental benefits

A NKr250m (euros 31m) "environment fund" set up by the Norwegian government three years ago has spent all its money and looks likely to be wound up despite claims by its administrators that it has been an outstanding success.

The aim of the fund was to help finance investment in new technologies and methods contributing to sustainable production and energy use. It has supported 61 projects with low-cost loans repayable to central government over three to 20 years. All the money has now been advanced and new project proposals are being turned away.

"I do not understand how, when everybody is discussing ways of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, you can ignore such a cost-effective instrument that has achieved such good results," Jan Thompson of the state Industrial and Regional Development Fund (SND), which administers the fund, told ENDS Daily.

In a statement today, SND said: "About two-thirds of the projects [supported by the fund] have a direct impact on greenhouse gases, with an estimated collective reduction in the order of 740,000 tonnes CO2-equivalent per year."

Other projects have involved waste treatment and disposal, recycling and biofuel. "The most significant environmental effects include reduced emissions of environmental toxins (zinc, cadmium, mercury, PCB), reduced generation of methane gas, increased recycling of plastics and light metals, and reduced emissions of NOx", SND says.

Follow Up:
SND, tel: +47 22 00 25 00.

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