The Ministry of the Environment was established as early as 1972, and plays a key role in the environmental policies of the Government. The Ministry initiates, develops and carries out measures of its own, often through subordinate bodies such as the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) and the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management (DN). In addition it has an important role in influencing sector Ministries at the national level.
Coordinating Objectives, Mobilizing the Community
The Ministry is responsible for coordinating the environmental policy objectives of the Government, and ensuring follow-up and monitoring results of environmental policies. Increased local commitment is of basic importance for creating legitimacy, and will contribute to improving the overall environmental work. It is also of great importance to continue cooperation and dialogue with industry.
Public Green Purchasing
In 2009 the governmental sector will buy goods and services worth more than NOK 300,000 million. The sector should lead the way in promoting sustainable patterns of production and consumption. A conscious purchasing policy will stimulate markets for green goods and services. The Government’s Action Plan “Environmental and Social Responsibility in Public Procurement” has a specific environmental policy for central government procurement, stipulating specific requirements for governmental institutions when purchasing products in priority groups such as cars.
Today’s toughest environmental threats to sustainable development are global. International cooperation is indispensable in order to meet challenges such as man-made climate change, loss of biodiversity and the spread of hazardous substances. Broad agreements and world wide regulation provide a more effective and efficient policy response, level the playing field for companies and expand the size of the market for environmental technologies. The environmental administration contributes in a number of arenas in order to ensure that international cooperation at all levels is expanded and strengthened.
Man-made climate change is the most serious environmental threat. Global greenhouse gas emissions must peak within very few years. Developed countries should take a special responsibility for achieving this. To obtain substantial reductions in world’s greenhouse gas emissions the continued development of innovative technology; and the transfer of technology from developed to developing countries is required. As part of this the Government gives substantial financial support for the development of carbon capture and storage technology at StatoilHydro’s plant in Mongstad.
There are five subordinate bodies to the Ministry:
• The Directorate for Nature Management is the Ministry’s advisory and executive body in the area of nature management
• The Norwegian Polar Institute is the central state institution for the mapping and scientific investigations in the polar regions
• The Directorate for Cultural Heritage is the Ministry’s advisory and executive body for the management of architectural and archeological monuments and sites and cultural environments
• The Norwegian Pollution Control Authority is responsible for providing the professional basis for decisions for the Ministry in connection with pollution issues, and an executive body in pollution control
• The Norwegian Mapping Authority is responsible for providing nationwide geographic information and services to private and public users. It also serves as the central government’s professional body in the areas of maps and geodata and handles the administrative tasks associated with this
Ministry of the Environment
PO Box 8013 Dep
NO-0030 Oslo, Norway
Tel: +47 22 24 90 90
Fax: +47 22 24 95 60