by Daniel J. Graeber
Oslo, Norway (UPI) Dec 13, 2016
For the first time in five years, the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted as measured by economic activity stood still, the Norwegian government said Tuesday.
Statistics Norway, the government's record-keeping agency, said greenhouse gas emissions per produced unit of currency were the same as the previous year.
"[Last year was] the first year since 2010 that the emission intensities have not decreased," the agency said.
Norway is a regional leader in terms of oil and gas production. Total oil production from October, the last full month for which the government has data, was slightly above the previous month, but higher than expected. Preliminary estimates for total natural gas production were dramatically higher than the previous month.
The government said the economy in 2015 grew at a rate of 1.5 percent, which was its smallest growth rate in five years. Norwegian energy company Statoil, which counts the government as a stakeholder, said global oil demand is on pace to grow at 1.5 percent per year, but to reach to the guidelines of the Paris climate agreement, that demand needs to reverse course. Statoil CEO Eldar Saetre said the company was doing its part to make the oil and gas industry a bit more responsible, but it was incumbent upon world leaders to take concrete action.
"The increase in emissions from the manufacturing industries and the oil and gas extraction industries made a particular contribution to the total increase in greenhouse gas emissions," the record-keeping agency added.
Statoil this year was tasked by the government in Oslo to study ways to store carbon dioxide on the country's continental shelf. The IEA said there are already 15 large-scale CCS projects in operation and six more are on schedule to start next year.
Statoil already counts several projects in its renewable energy portfolio.
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