Norwegians not so green after all

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A new study suggests that the vast majority of Norwegians are putting responsibility for emissions cuts on everyone but themselves. At the very least, as consumers they’re not putting their money where their mouth is.

The study, conducted by the Copenhagen Consulting Company and reported in newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) on Wednesday, shows that many Norwegians are skeptical about so-called “green” products and have become even less willing to pay higher prices for environmentally friendly products.

The Norwegians scored the lowest on the study that attempts to calculate responsibility for climate change and the environment among residents of Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Only 13 percent of Norwegians questioned responded that they themselves have the most responsibility to reduce carbon emissions. That compared to 22 percent of the Danes questioned and 14 percent of the Swedes.

Nearly one in five Norwegians expects that their government will take responsibility for cutting carbon emissions, but the majority (61 percent) responded that producers and suppliers have the biggest responsibility.

Only 25 percent of the Norwegians responded that they now are more willing to pay extra for environmentally friendly products, compared to 33 percent of the Swedes and Danes. Fully 59 percent, however, said they value information about various products’ emissions effects when they shop, while 26 percent said the did not.

Several producers contacted by DN confirmed the trend. Per Løken of Toyota Norge said he hasn’t seen many consumers willing to pay more for vehicles that have lower emissions, although there is interest in them. Lene Holtan of Electrolux said that consumers elsewhere in Europe are more interested in the environmental aspects of appliances than those in Norway.

One official at the consumer advocacy agency Forbrukerrådet had her own explanation as to why Norwegians don’t seem to be as environmentally conscious in practice as their Scandinavian and European counterparts: “We think it’s because we don’t have as much product choice in Norwegian stores as they do,” said Gro Tvedt Anderssen. She believes Norwegians are willing to make “the right choices,” if given a chance.