Norway’s municipal election campaign is underway, with incumbent politicians in Oslo promising that they’ll make the Norwegian capital emissions-free by 2030. Critics question whether that’s realistic.
Oslo’s Labour Party-led government coalition that includes the Socialist Left and Greens parties invited reporters and others on a tram ride Friday, during which they announced ambitious goals. All vehicles will be emissions free, they claim, and traffic will be cut. Even thought the city is the capital of an oil-producing country, them claimed Oslo will phase out all use of fossil diesel at dock- and construction zones, while consumption will become more climate-friendly.
Emissions reduction efforts will include expansion of the area’s rail network and a new train tunnel under the city. “We’ll do all we can so that all cars in Oslo will be emissions-free,” said the city’s top politician in charge of environmental and transport issues, Lan Marie Berg. “It’s ambitious, but possible.”
Others claimed the plans are unrealistic and clearly tied to the city government’s re-election campaign. City government leader Raymond Johansen of the Labour Party boasted that the plans were “the most ambitious climate strategy for any big city in the world.”
Not everyone was convinced: “We raise questions about whether it’s realistic that all cars in Oslo will be emissions-free in 11 years,” Camilla Ryste of Norway’s national automobile federation NAF told state broadcaster NRK. “Most of us buy used cars, not new cars. It’s very unclear whether there will be enough emissions-free cars on the used-car market in 2030.”