FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: 

Nicole Rodel, Oil Change International – nicole@priceofoil.org / +27842570627

Norway joins 40-signatory partnership to end international public finance for fossil fuels

  • Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre  announced today that Norway has joined the Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETP, sometimes called the Glasgow Statement) at the UN COP28 climate summit in Dubai.
  • Boost for CETP which now boasts 40 signatories (including US, Canada, and many EU countries), shifting billions per year out of fossil fuels to clean energy
  • Norway – as a major oil & gas producing nation – boosts initiative by joining
  • Norway joining builds momentum at OECD level to create new rules to end international fossil finance across the OECD
  • Laggards still remain with United States and a few others required to keep their promises

Minutes ago, Norway joined a major international initiative to end international public finance for fossil fuels today at COP28, called the Clean Energy Transition Partnership.

At the 2021 UN climate summit in Glasgow, 39 countries and institutions – including many EU states, the United States, and Canada – signed the Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETP), committing to end direct international public finance for fossil fuel projects by the end of 2022. If every signatory meets their commitment, this will shift at least USD 28 billion per year from fossil fuels into renewable energy.

As a new signatory, Norway will be given one year from its signature to implement its pledge. Ironically, just yesterday Norway Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre made it clear that he does not see any contradiction between Norway’s climate efforts and handing out new oil and gas licenses. Campaigners say they will be watching the country closely to make sure they keep their promise – and urged the government to seize the moment to go further by committing to end new oil and gas licensing and production, in line with what science requires. 

Dina Rui, Public Finance Programme Lead, Nordic Center for Sustainable Finance (part of ActionAid Denmark), said:

“Today, Norway took its first step towards becoming the international climate leader it has long claimed to be, by joining the coalition of countries who are serious about moving international public finance out of fossil fuels. If this commitment is implemented effectively, it is not only a win for the climate but it will also decrease our overexposure to a sunset industry and help secure more domestic green jobs.  

“As one of the world’s largest carbon emissions exporters, Norway should play a pivotal role in the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Hopefully, this is the first of many climate commitments from Norway aimed at speeding up the green transition.”

Adam McGibbon, Campaign Strategist at Oil Change International, said:

“Norway joining the CETP is a positive move in the right direction. It marks the beginning of a shift away from using taxpayer-backed money to prop up the fossil fuel industry. There are many more steps along this journey, such as ending the domestic production of fossil fuels, but today’s announcement strengthens the growing coalition of countries phasing out international public finance for fossil fuels.

Norway ending its international finance for fossil fuels and shifting to this to clean energy would have a significant impact. Eksfin, the Norwegian export credit agency, provided an estimated USD 1 billion to fossil fuels from July 2021 to June 2023. The export credit agency has been involved in controversial projects that have seen Eksfin face criticism

This move from Norway also bolsters an international campaign to adopt new rules at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD – the group of the world’s wealthiest countries) to end export finance support for fossil fuels. OECD countries supported fossil fuel exports by an average of USD 41 billion from 2018 to 2020, almost five times more than clean energy exports. The EU, Canada, and UK have tabled a proposal to end this finance. Having signed onto the CETP, Norway is now expected to deliver on the CETP’s commitment to “driving multilateral commitments in international bodiesby aligning with the UK, EU, and Canada in the push for oil and gas restrictions at the OECD.

Although many countries have kept their CETP promise to end international public finance for fossil fuels, some have not, including notably the United States, Italy, and Germany. The United States has yet to publish its policy to respond to the CETP and the US Export-Import Bank continues to finance fossil fuels, undermining President Biden’s multiple pledges to end this finance. Italy and Germany’s policy contain major loopholes that will allow a significant amount of fossil finance to continue. Campaigners are continuing to call on these countries to keep their promises.

NOTES:

  • The Clean Energy Transition Partnership was launched at the 2021 UN COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow. The signatories – including many EU countries, the US and Canada – pledged to “end new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022” and instead “prioritize our support fully towards the clean energy transition.”
  • The IPCC’s AR6 report highlights public finance for fossil fuels as ‘severely misaligned’ with reaching the Paris goals, but that if shifted, it could play a critical role in closing the mitigation finance gap, enabling emission reductions and a just transition. More background on the role international public finance plays in shaping energy systems is available in this Oil Change International briefing
  • Oil Change International publishes Leaders & Laggards, a policy implementation tracker that outlines progress on implementation of the CETP, which will be regularly updated in the lead up to and during COP28. Oil Change International also publishes the Fossil Finance Violations Tracker, showing where countries are still financing fossil fuel projects despite their pledge.
  • Oil Change International research shows that in 2019-2021 alone, G20 countries and the multilateral development banks (MDBs) they govern provided at least USD 55 billion per year in international public finance for oil, gas, and coal projects. This fossil fuel finance was 2 times more than their support for renewable energy, which averaged only $29 billion per year. This shows the urgent need to implement the CETP – this would tip the public finance for energy balance from fossil fuels to clean energy.
  • A previous Oil Change International report finds Norway amongst five Global North ‘Planet Wrecker’ countries (along with the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, and Canada) responsible for a majority (51 percent) of planned expansion from new oil and gas fields through 2050.
  • ActionAid Denmark calculates that in the last two years (Q3 2021 to Q2 2023), Eksfin provided between 8.78 and 10.98 billion NOK to fossil fuels, which OCI has noted as an estimate of 1 billion USD per year over the 2021-2023 period.