Did you know that buildings account for 40 percent of energy consumption and 40 percent of CO2 emissions worldwide? This revealing statistic helps shed light on what continues to fuel climate change—an undoubted environmental challenge around the world.
To address this global problem and spearhead the fight against climate change, Norway plans to be the first country in the world to ban the use of fossil-based oil to heat buildings.
Although an economic oil giant itself, Norway is also known for its ambition to become a global leader on fighting climate change. The country has made efforts to rid gasoline-fueled cars, become carbon neutral by 2030 and help less fortunate countries around to world reduce their carbon footprints. The Norwegian Government hopes the upcoming ban will reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by 340,000 tons per year, compared to overall national emissions of 53.9 million tons in 2015.
The ban will cover all new and old buildings including businesses, publicly owned facilities and private homes. A recent statistic shows that 80,000 Norwegian homes and 20,000 non-residential buildings are currently heated with fossil-based oil. This means these affected Norwegian home and building owners will have more than two years to replace their current oil furnaces before the ban comes into effect in 2020.
Some recommended alternatives to oil-based products that the government has put forward include heat pumps, electricity from the country’s hydroelectric grid and even special stoves that burn wood chips. The ban could also be widened to include restrictions on the use of natural gas for heating.