Norway – First Country in the World to Ban Use of Gas to Heat Buildings

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Norway – First Country in the World to Ban Use of Gas to Heat Buildings

Norway is making radical changes to lessen its currently substantial carbon footprint. In addition to limit the emission of cars, a ban to prohibit the use of fossil-based oil to heat buildings comes into effect in 2020.

Paradoxically, the world’s largest producer of oil and gas outside the Middle East, will ban the use of oil and paraffin to warm buildings from 2020 onwards. The Norwegian Government hopes that the upcoming ban will result in a reduction of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by 340,000 tons per year, compared to overall national emissions of 53.9 million tons in 2015.

Norway – First Country in the World to Ban Use of Gas to Heat Buildings
Methane emissions in Norway, by sector

The country has made concerted effort to introduce policies which shrink domestic emission of greenhouse gases. Norway also aims to ban the sale of fossil fuel-based cars by 2025.

Norway – First Country in the World to Ban Use of Gas to Heat Buildings
the world’s largest producer of oil and gas

“Those using fossil oil for heating must find other options by 2020,” said Norway’s Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen in a statement.

Norway – First Country in the World to Ban Use of Gas to Heat Buildings
Norway’s Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen

Recommended alternatives to oil-based products include heat pumps, electricity from the country’s hydroelectric grid and even special stoves burning wood chips. Additional measures could include limitations on the use of natural gas for heating.

Norway – First Country in the World to Ban Use of Gas to Heat Buildings
Hydro aluminium plant in Norway is a heavy user of electricity. Photo: Øivind Leren

The Ministry of Climate and Environment said the ban would apply to both new and old buildings and cover both private homes and the public space of businesses and state-owned facilities.

Norway – First Country in the World to Ban Use of Gas to Heat Buildings
Photo: Norwegian District Heating Association (Norsk Fjernvarme
Norway – First Country in the World to Ban Use of Gas to Heat Buildings
Marius Holm

“This is a very important climate measure that significantly cuts emissions, sending a powerful signal that we are moving from fossil to renewable energy,” said Marius Holm, head of ZERO, a foundation that promotes emissions cuts, in a statement.

The ban marks a radical change in policy for Norway. Despite ratifying the Paris Agreement, the nation showed a 3.3 percent increase in emissions last year compared to 1990.

Feature image (on top): Downtown Oslo

Norway – First Country in the World to Ban Use of Gas to Heat Buildings , written by Tor Kjolberg