Ways of cutting energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions at the local level in Norway were the main focus of a two-day conference on sustainable energy and Local Agenda 21, which ended yesterday in Oslo. More than 280 delegates representing municipal and regional government debated how they could contribute to achieving Norway's target under the Kyoto protocol of limiting greenhouse gas emissions to 1% above their 1990 level by the period 2008-2012. Environment minister Guro Fjellanger stressed that global problems were the sum of local problems, and that local authorities and businesses had a key role to play in devising strategies to cut emissions. State support could be made available where needed, officials said. One case study presented at the meeting was a scheme to use industrial waste heat for domestic heating in the town of Kristiansand. The government has provided NKr8m (euros 924,000) for construction work, which starts next month. Oil and energy minister Marit Arnstad said that future government policy would stress the development of renewable energy resources, such as bioenergy and wind energy, despite Norway's large oil and hydroelectric resources. The conference conclusions will be taken into account during the preparation of a white paper on Norway's future energy policy, due to be presented to the parliament before Easter.
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