Emissions lower than initially calculated

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Closed borders, empty airports and grounded flights during the Corona pandemic haven’t had a major effect on carbon emissions, according to the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), but emissions last year are lower than previously stated. That’s because of an error in calculating Norwegian carbon emissions.

State statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) reported last week that new numbers show Norway emitting 49.3 million tons of carbon equivalents into the air. Preliminary figures published by SSB on June 8 had put them at 50 million tons, meaning they actually were a bit lower. Figures dating back to 1990 are also lower, after SSB discovered errors in calculating emissions from coastal traffic and international shipping.

The new lower figures can’t be entirely linked to less travel, though. Emissions from the international airline industry did decline an estimated 7 percent in 2020, but Stephen Matthew Platt, a senior researcher at NILU, told state broadcaster NRK that emissions from aircraft make up a relatively small portion of total carbon emissions. “Reduced airline traffic during the pandemic thus accounted for only around 10 percent of the total reduction,” Platt told NRK.

Airline traffic was picking up again this week, meanwhile, after the Norwegian government and the EU eased restrictions against “unnecessary” travel, meaning many could once again fly off on summer holidays that officially begin this week in Norway. SAS has been reopening more direct routes to foreign destinations, including Nice, Athens, Reykjavik, Alicante, Malaga and, over the weekend, New York.

newsinenglish.no staff