Norwegian budget favours public transport

Tight spending limits leave government little room for manoeuvre on environmental issues

The Norwegian government's proposed national budget for 2003, presented to parliament yesterday, is dominated by plans to curb public spending, leaving little room for manoeuvre on environmental issues.

Public transport spending is the clear exception, with an increase earmarked of NKr591m (€81m ), taking the total budget to NKr8.2bn. Energy research and development funding is also to rise by NKr36m to NKr305m, "mainly... in the cross-field between energy and the environment". Hydrogen and renewables are also identified as priorities, and NKr50m is to be spent on carbon sequestration technologies for gas-fired power plants.

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