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A promise is a promise

Norway is a country that believes in putting action behind its policies – whether they be international, national or local. Although many Norwegian environmental activities are of a high-profile nature internationally, including financial support of a “green” football World Cup in 2010, climate research in the Himalayas, wide cooperation with the Chinese regarding climate change and active participation in EU’s Climate Package programme – the country also knows that environmental responsibility begins at home.

Norway knows that international cooperation and initiatives are augmented by the active engagement of the national population in doing what they can do to reduce CO2 emissions locally, on business, family and personal levels. The goal is to become “carbon neutral” here at home – promoting sustainable activities and providing concrete information on how this can be done. As the Minister of the Environment Eric Solheim says, “Everyone is talking about it. And someone must do something as well.”

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Working Together
This is the background for the Norwegian national programme “Klimaløftet” – a twist of the Norwegian language that means both a “climate promise” as well as “lifting of climate awareness”. This project is the initiative of the Ministry of the Environment, and is being undertaken in close cooperation with regional and local organizations as well as a wide range of environmentally-conscious companies.

The message is simple – reduce the amount of CO2 emissions each and every day where Norwegians live and work. To get the word out, the Ministry of the Environment engaged several high profile national personalities that included meteorologist Siri Kalvig to take the climate message to the people all across the country during the first half of 2008.

 

The Ministry of the Environment is working with businesses, families and individuals in reducing CO2 emissions on all levels.
© Thor Renslemo

 

 

Ready, Willing & Able
The response was immediate and positive. Companies and individuals were ready, willing and able to make their “climate promise”, taking active steps towards becoming carbon neutral by changing and adapting their lifestyles. Along the way, people realized that the changes they were making not only helped the environment, but were enjoyable as well, as it often brought individuals and organizations closer together in working towards a common goal.

According to Elisabet Molander, the Project Director of “Klimaløftet”, “The idea is to make it simple in helping people take www.norwayexports.no/indexconcrete steps in reducing their level of carbon emissions, and change habits and activities that cause pollution. The project relies on accessibility – we have provided a website where people can measure levels of emissions – and also provided them with practical information on how they can become even more environmentally proactive.”

The project is continuing to develop and, during the last half of 2008, the children and youth of Norway will be the target when the “Klimaløftet” campaign goes to the schools of the country to spread the word that becoming carbon neutral is not just something that takes place at the highest levels of Government – it is something that each and every Norwegian can do something about wherever they live and work.
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