Hefty Carbon Tax Raised Norway's Emissions

Greenhouse gases up 15% despite system aimed to curb them
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2008 4:07 PM CDT
The loading buoy foreground with the Statfjord A platform behind.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – In 1991, Norway enacted a punishing carbon tax, but things haven’t turned out quite as expected, the Wall Street Journal reports. Greenhouse-gas emissions have actually risen 15%, and industries deemed vital to the nation’s economy or image were spared the tax or given sweet deals. Though the oil and gas industry has become more eco-friendly, Norwegians are driving more than ever.

Norway puts a positive spin on the admitted failure of the tax. The country has seen unprecedented economic growth since 1990, with GDP up 70%. And the government receives almost a third of its funding from taxes on petrodollars. But in a rural nation, even with gas prices around $10 a gallon, there are more cars on the road than ever.