Last update:11 Jan 2017
|National adaptation strategy (White paper)||Adopted||
National action plan not made yet
|Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments||Completed||
|Research programs||Currently being undertaken||
|Climate services / Met Office||Online||
|Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies||Being developed||
|Training and education resources||Being developed|
|National Communication on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change||Submitted (2014)|
National climate change adaptation strategy
The first White Paper on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) was adopted by Stortinget (The Norwegian Parliament) in 2013, outlining national policies and guidance for adaptation in Norway. The White Paper represents the Norwegian national strategy for CCA. The White Paper upholds that everyone is responsible for climate change adaptation – individuals, business and industry and the authorities. In line with the principle of responsibility, all ministries have responsibility to safeguard consideration for climate change within their sector. This is not a new responsibility. The white paper gives an account of what the authorities are doing to enable everyone to assume responsibility for climate change adaptation as effectively as possible, and establish a common framework for climate change adaptation across sectors and administrative levels.
The White Paper states that projections on future climate and knowledge are essential for effective climate change adaptation. Adaptation work must always be based on the best available knowledge about climate change and how the changes can be addressed. The Government therefore intends to ensure that the knowledge base for climate change adaptation is strengthened through closer monitoring of climate change, continued expansion of climate change research and the development of a national centre for climate services.
According to the White Paper, adaptation policies and measures should build on the best available knowledge.
Climate projections indicate a trend towards increased and more intense precipitation in Norway, which will result in more storm water runoff in urban areas (urban flooding). This requires an enhanced framework for managing urban flooding, especially in areas where there are large areas of impermeable surfaces such as roads and pavements. Challenges will also arise in connection with the development and densification of urban areas. The Government appointed a committee to evaluate the current legislation and as appropriate make proposals for amendments to provide a better framework for the municipalities responsible for managing storm water, to deal with the increasing challenges associated with urban flooding. The committee launched their report with proposals for amendments December 2015 https://www.regjeringen.no/no/aktuelt/utvalg-foreslar-virkemidler-for-a-hindre-skader-fra-overvann/id2465419/ (in Norwegian). Sea level rise is a challenge associated with climate change addressed in the White Paper. Individuals, private companies, public bodies and local and central government authorities all have a responsibility for taking steps to safeguard their own property. Under the Planning and Building Act, the municipalities are responsible for ensuring that natural hazards are assessed and taken into account in spatial planning and processing of building applications. This includes the responsibility for considering implications from sea level rise and the resulting higher tides.
Several directorates have made sectoral adaptation strategies or climate strategies addressing climate change adaptation. Climate change will result in a higher risk of damage caused by natural disasters such as floods and landslides. The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), has developed a climate change adaptation strategy https://www.nve.no/klima/ including monitoring, research and concrete measures to prevent increased damages caused by floods and landslides in a future climate. In particular, changes in flood magnitudes are taken into account in design flood estimates and flood contingency planning. Other examples are the Directorate of Fisheries (https://www.regjeringen.no/globalassets/upload/fkd/brosjyrer20og20veiledninger/2013/fiskeridep_klimastrategi_korr3.pdf ) and the Norwegian costal administration (http://www.kystverket.no/Nyheter/2015/Desember/Klima--og-miljostrategi-for-Kystverket)
Norway has good public and private insurance schemes for insurance against disasters. This model is beneficial for society, as it provides a protection from financial risk associated with extreme weather events.
The local character of the impacts of climate change puts the municipalities in the front line in dealing with climate change. To enable the municipalities to ensure resilient and sustainable communities also in the future, adaptation to climate change must be made an integral part of municipal responsibilities. The Government therefore intends to draw up guidelines describing how the municipalities and counties can incorporate climate change adaptation work into their planning activities.
Information resources, networks for sharing experience, grants, and cooperation with regional authorities plays an important part in climate change adaptation work at municipal level.
An overview of vulnerabilities, impacts and adaptation measures is provided in Norway`s sixth National Communication (https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/Norways-sixth-National-Communication-under-the-Framework-Convention-on-Climate-Change/id752820/ ) under the UNFCCC, chapter 6. A more comprehensive overview of vulnerabilities and possible priorities is presented in the before mentioned Official Norwegian report on recommendations for a policy for adapting to climate change. The committee concludes that all sectors need to take responsibility for assessing and addressing the impacts of climate change on their areas of competence. The committee recommends that eco-system based management of our natural environment should be given priority and that the already existing regulation needs to be enforced with more strength. Further the committee points to all infrastructure sectors as vulnerable to climate change, in particular the sewage and water supply systems and buildings.
The White paper on adaptation (2013) provides key priorities for adaptation in the years to come.
a) Observations and projections
Meteorological and atmosphere observations
The Norwegian Meteorological Institute is under the Ministry of Education and Research and has ten meteorological surface observing stations and one upper air station (Jan Mayen) part of GCOS. The stations report to the World Meterorological Oranisations (WMO) international data exchange according to standard procedures. Norway does not have a separate national GCOS programme.
The Norwegian Meteorological Institute operates six upper air stations-, included two stations at Jan Mayen and Bjørnøya, and a station at the Ekofisk oil field in the North Sea. These stations make soundings twice daily measuring temperature, humidity and wind every 2 sec up to a height of approximately 28 km. The institute also collects upper air data from a station operated at Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen by the Alfred Wegner Institute.
The surface based meteorological network for real time synoptic observations comprises approximately 270 stations, including the manned stations at Jan Mayen, Bjørnøya, Hopen and a number of automatic meteorological stations at the northern part of Svalbard. In addition the Norwegian Meteorological Institute collects data from eight oil rigs and 14 ships in the Norwegian and Barents sea. Many of these stations report on an hourly basis. A synoptic meteorological station has also been set up at the Troll station in the Antarctica.
Real time data from the Norwegian meteorological stations are exchanged internationally through the WMO international data exchange and are sent to the World Data Centres according to standard procedures.
The institute also operates a network of manual precipitation stations consisting of approximately 320 stations. Approximately 70 per cent of these stations report the data on a daily basis. The rest only report on a weekly basis.
The Norwegian Meteorological Institute has operated meteorological observing stations for more than 100 years at a number of locations. The climate database of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute therefore includes very long records of climate data. This database is freely available on the web (www.eklima.no). This web site includes both real-time data as well as long historical climate series.
The Institute of Marine Research is under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, and is responsible for monitoring programmes for physical and biological oceanographic parameters. Temperature and salinity observations at 9 fixed stations (vertical profiles 2-4 times/month) has been monitored since 1936. Physical, chemical and biological parameters have been monitored 2-4 times per year since 1970.
The national monitoring program on ocean acidification started in 2010, and is carried out by the Institute of Marine Research (IMR), the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) and Uni Research (UNI). This programme investigates causes and trends of ocean acidification, and monitors carbonate systems in Norwegian Seas, Northern Barents Seas and Svalbard.
The Norwegian Polar Institute has a special role in monitoring the Arctic environment. The institute monitors the oceanic output from the Arctic Ocean to sub-polar seas in collaboration with Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. Ice thickness has been monitored since 1990. Moreover, marine living environment and sea ice properties in Kongsfjorden and sea ice and snow thickness in Storfjorden and Hopen, are also being monitored.
Data from observations contributes to the WMO Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marin Meteorology (JCOMM). There are several (time limited) programs to map species and habitats along the coast and at sea.
Eight study areas of birch forest contributes to the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS), and climate change effects are integrated in several monitoring programmes; Terrestrial Monitoring programme, The Bird Index, Monitoring of palsa peatland, National Forest Inventory, Monitoring of cultural landscape, and Environmental monitoring on Svalbard and Jan Mayen.
Space based observations
Norway is member of the European Space Agency. Norway is also member of Copernicus, which aims at providing accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.
The CryoClim project is supported by the Norwegian Space Centre and ESA and led by the Norwegian Computing centre, and has developed a system for monitoring of the cryosphere from satellite. It has a potential to be Norwegian contribution into Copernicus Climate Change service and the WMO Global Cryosphere Watch Initiative
The report Climate in Norway 2100 (2009) was prepared on request from the expert committee preparing the Official Norwegian report on CAA (2010). The report described past, present and future climate, hydrology and conditions in the ocean including e.g. precipitation, temperature, wind, river flow including floods and droughts, snow, ocean acidification, sea ice and sea level rise. In 2015 the report Climate in Norway 2100 was re-launched) with updated climate projections for Norway, downscaling the climate projections from IPCCs 5th assessment report (http://www.miljodirektoratet.no/no/Publikasjoner/2015/September-2015/Klima-i-Norge-2100/ (in Norwegian only).
A report with estimated sea level rise in Norway in the 21st century was also published in 2009, providing quantified projections for all coastal municipalities. The Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB) has developed practical guidelines to the municipalities on how to address sea level rise and storm surge in spatial planning. http://www.dsb.no/no/toppmeny/Publikasjoner/2015/Tema/Handtering-av-havnivastigning-i-kommunal-planlegging/ A report presenting new estimates of sea level rise and storm surge was published in 2015 (Sea Level Change for Norway: Past and Present Observations and Projections to 2100 (http://www.miljodirektoratet.no/no/Publikasjoner/2015/September-2015/Havnivaendring-i-Norge/ , in English) The new estimates are based on findings from the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC)
b) Impacts &vulnerability assessments
The first comprehensive national assessment, an Official Norwegian report, of vulnerability and adaptation needs in Norway was submitted by an independent expert committee to the Government in November 2010 https://www.regjeringen.no/en/aktuelt/vulnerability-to-the-impacts-of-climate-/id664929/. The committee was mandated by the Government to identify the impacts of and vulnerabilities towards climate change on Norway's natural environment and society and suggest measures to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience. The committee had 17 members representing key government institutions, industries and NGOs, and worked for two years involving a broad range of stakeholders. Although Norway has high adaptive capacity in many areas, the report concludes that lack of maintenance and repair in key infrastructures and fragmentation in the natural environment increases vulnerability towards climate change.
Several sector assessments have been made recently, among these are.
- The webpage State of the Environment Norway provides updated information about the state and development of the environment. http://www.miljostatus.no/tema/naturmangfold/klimaendringenes-effekter-pa-norsk-natur/ (in Norwegian)
- The report Norwegian Nature index 2015. The state and trends of biological diversity. This is an expert assessment of how sensitive important indicators are for various impact factors. The report shows what impacts that are most important for the different ecosystems. For mountains, climate change is as important as land use/human intervention. http://www.environment.no/topics/biodiversity/the-norwegian-nature-index/ (in Norwegian)
- Report from the Norwegian institute for nature research (commissioned by the Norwegian Environment Agency) - Nature as a tool in climate adaptation (2015) (http://www.miljodirektoratet.no/no/Nyheter/Nyheter/2015/Juni-2015/Naturen-som-redskap-i-klimatilpasning/) (in Norwegian)
- Report from Vista Analyse (commissioned by the Norwegian Environment Agency) The importance of green infrastructure in Norwegian cities and towns (2015) http://www.miljokommune.no/Documents/Nyheter/va_2015-10_gr_nnstruktur_og_kosystemtjenester_final_m_mdir_nr.pdf (in Norwegian)
- The Norwegian Environment Agency provided a report on possible remedial actions within nature management to counteract the effects of climate change in the report; "Climate Change - Nature Management Measures".(2007)
- In 2009 the Norwegian government presented a white paper entitled "Climate Challenges – Agriculture part of the Solution "(http://www.bioforsk.no/ikbViewer/Content/75248/Alta%206%20september%20Brunvatne%20lmd.pdf). Adapting agriculture to climate change is an important part of the white paper. The Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research (Bioforsk) has assessed the needs related to adapting agronomy, agricultural education, research and technology to climate change.
- A national assessment on climate change mitigation and adaptation in agriculture sector was released in February 2016 https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/landbruk-og-klimaendringer/id2476376/ (in Norwegian)
Storm water runoff;
- Report on Storm water runoff in towns and cities - As problem and resource (NOU 2015 -16), https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/nou-2015-16/id2465332/
The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) published the report Hydrological projections for floods in Norway under a future climate in 2011. Based on the findings in the report, climate change can be taken into account in flood estimations for Norwegian rivers. This is used for design criteria estimates and flood contingency planning.
Sea level rise;
Report from The Directorate for Civil Protection on Municipalities use of sea level rise data (2015) http://www.dsb.no/Global/Publikasjoner/2015/Tema/Kommunenes_arbeid_med_stormflo_og_framtidig_havnivaastigning.pdf
Infrastructure and buildings;
- Report from Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate on Norwegian dams potentially vulnerable for large floodings (2015) http://publikasjoner.nve.no/rapport/2015/rapport2015_94.pdf (in Norwegian)
- Report from the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate on Possible impacts on sea level rise and storm surge on Norwegian energy supply (2015); http://publikasjoner.nve.no/rapport/2015/rapport2015_03.pdf (in Norwegian)
- Report from the Directorate for Cultural Heritage on Cultural Heritage and Climate Change – Pilot project Aurland municipality (2015). Climate change increases the load on the cultural heritage. The Directorate for Cultural Heritage initiated a joint project to gather experience and knowledge on the management of cultural heritage in a changing climate.: http://www.riksantikvaren.no/Tema/Klimaendringene-og-kulturminner (in Norwegian)
Global challenges in the areas of the environment, climate change, oceans, food safety and energy are among the strategic objectives in Norwegian research policy.
A report from the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (commissioned by the Research Council of Norway) http://www.forskningsradet.no/servlet/Satellite?c=Arrangement&pagename=miljoforsk%2FHovedsidemal&cid=1254016516480 showed that overall; 2.04 billion NOK was used in Norway on climate change research in 2014. This represented 3.8 per cent of Norway's total resource commitment to R & D. The institute sector was with just over a billion (1.034) the largest sector and accounted for just over half of the Norwegian climate change research. Educational institutions in the higher education sector accounted for just under 0.9 billion, while the private sector's share was just under 140 million. Climate change research was largely funded by public sources (80 percent), of which the Research Council's share was approximately 30 percent, corresponding to just over 600 million.
Just under 40 percent of the overall efforts for climate change research was related to the climate system. Then followed the research area climate effects on nature with a share of around 30 percent. Research on the effects of climate change on society and climate adaptation were far smaller, 8 and 9 percent. While research on low-emission society amounted to 13 percent of the total climate change research. Research areas' distributions were relatively similar in all the three sectors, but in the business sector climate system research accounted for more, over 50 percent.
KLIMAFORSK is the Research Council's, 10-year (2014-2023) programme for climate research. The KLIMAFORSK programme is a broad-based, long-term research programme aimed at providing new, future-oriented knowledge of national and international significance. The primary objective of the KLIMAFORSK programme is to generate essential knowledge about the climate to the benefit of society. The KLIMAFORSK programme will provide support for basic research, applied research and innovation activities that will help to:
- Increase knowledge about natural and anthropogenic climate change;
- Improve knowledge about the impacts of climate change on the natural environment and society
- Enhance knowledge about how society can and should mitigate and adapt to climate change.
d) Monitoring Progress. Effectiveness/efficiency
The Norwegian Climate and Environment Ministry is responsible for monitoring and evaluating climate change policy in Norway including adaptation progress. In Norway each sector agency is responsible for integrating CCA in their sector, and may have their own systems for monitoring and evaluating progress. A national system for MRE has not yet been developed or implemented, but a brief assessment regarding possibilities for developing national climate change adaptation indicators and systems for reporting has been carried out.
All government agencies and local and regional authorities carry a responsibility for CCA within their field. Since 1 January 2014, the Norwegian Environment Agency supports the Ministry of Climate and the Environment in its CCA-coordination work. The Norwegian Environment Agency has a responsibility for providing the ministry with scientific knowledge on which to base policy decisions. The agency supports the Ministry in its work in international forums such as the UNFCC and the IPCC.
The agency shall in cooperation with relevant directorates facilitate adaptation at local, regional and national level. One important task for the Environment Agency is to provide information on government adaptation efforts and promote exchange of experience and network building. With 428 counties, network becomes essential. The Environment Agency is secretariat for a frontrunner municipality network. The network aims at provide new information, sharing knowledge and expertise through joint projects.
In order to ensure knowledge sharing and disseminate results on various activities, the website klimatilpasning.no on adaptation to climate change was established. The website is now revised and was launched in a new version in March 2016. The website provides tools, case studies and information on climate change adaptation for practitioners working in local governments. The revised website will in addition target building sector and agriculture and should also be of value to a broader audience.
A number of government agencies and academic institutions have responsibilities and knowledge relevant to estimates of future sea level rise. The Environment Agency is responsible for coordinating and provides advice to the Ministry of the Environment concerning the projections for sea level rise on which policy decisions should be based.
Several authorities are responsible for various regulations regarding urban flooding and the municipal management of such issues. The Environment Agency is responsible for having an overview of the regulations regarding urban flooding, and this information is available on the website http://www.miljokommune.no/
The Environment Agency also supports municipalities and counties through the cooperation with and support to county governors. The Agency gives tasks on climate change adaptation to county governors, and support relevant projects and activities.
The Environment Agency is responsible for the development and administration of a climate adaptation grant scheme, where municipalities may apply.
The Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB) has an overall responsibility to monitor risk and vulnerability in society and to promote measures to prevent or reduce risk across sectors and levels. The directorate promotes measures to prevent or limit the impact of natural hazards. It coordinates work on civil protection across sectors and governmental levels and works to ensure that planning at local level takes various aspects of risk into account. DSB is also focal point for the International Disaster Risk reduction (ISDR) work and leads Norway's national platform on Disaster Risk Reduction. According to DSBs responsibility for coordination and cooperation on civil protection, the directorate will advise municipalities on how to take into consideration sea level projections and storm surge into planning. The directorate will involve other relevant agencies in this work
DSB supports the Ministry of Justice and Public security in coordinating civil protection and emergency planning efforts in Norway, in order to prevent or limit consequences of natural hazards and are responsible for following up the work done nationally, regionally and locally. The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has a regulatory responsibility for floods and landslides, assisted by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE). NVE supports municipalities and society at large in handling challenges related to floods and landslides including how to adapt to changes in floods and landslides caused by climate change. A White Paper on floods and landslides (Meld. St. 15 (2011-2012) https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/meld-st-15-20112012/id676526/ (in Norwegian only) describes how the authorities work systematically with prevention and preparedness to ensure that the risk related to floods and landslides are acceptable.
The municipalities, county municipalities also play vital roles in the CCA efforts in Norway;
The county governor is important in following up the Government's policy on regional and local level. They play an important role in supporting the municipalities in their work on adaptation, in particular related to risk and vulnerability analysis and land use planning. They also coordinate and cooperate the civil protection efforts, both prevention and preparedness, on the regional level. The county governors have to ensure that climate change has been taken into consideration and followed up, both in municipal land-use plans and risk and vulnerability assessments.
The county municipalities also play an important role regarding guidance and coordination in relation to municipal and regional plans. The revised Planning and Building Act (2008) strengthens county municipalities' role as planning authorities.
The municipalities are in the frontline in carrying out CCA measures. The Planning and Building Act and the Civil Protection Act obligate the municipalities to carry out risk and vulnerability assessments. These assessments can be important in clarifying issues and areas of risk relevant to each municipality and in recommending initiatives for various players in order to reduce vulnerability.
b) Adaptation capacity, dissemination, education, training
The past years a range of capacity- and competence-building measures have been implemented, especially at municipal level. Many authorities in different sectors and a large number of municipalities have already made a good start on their adaptation efforts.
Since 2008, the Norwegian website Klimatilpasning.no, has provided tools, case studies and information on climate change adaptation. Municipalities are the main target groups for the webpage. There is linkage between CCA website and the Norwegian climate services Centre webpage (https://klimaservicesenter.no/faces/desktop/index.xhtml), in order to make easy access to climate projections and county profiles (see description below).
A pilot project in Troms County (2015), aimed to guide the municipalities in how to integrate CCA efforts in social and spatial planning. The project partners were The County Governor in Troms, The DSB, The Norwegian Met Office, The NVE and four municipalities in Troms. The objective with the project was to get an overview of the existing knowledge base for Troms county – i.e. existing knowledge, the legal basis (which legal acts and sections), existing guidelines and directives, tools and resources useful and relevant for the municipalities in their CCA efforts. The project was also a pilot for the Norwegian Climate Service Centre, giving input to what kind of data the municipalities need and how to present the data in a way that is useful for them.
A result the Troms-project was the development of a Climate Change County Profile. The Norwegian Climate Service Centre will make similar profiles for every county in Norway. https://klimaservicesenter.no/faces/desktop/article.xhtml?uri=klimaservicesenteret/klimaprofiler
The Cities of the Future (2008-2014) was a collaborative effort between the Government and the 13 largest cities in Norway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate. The Cities of the Future were an important driving force for the climate change adaptation work in Norway. The cities' work helped to speed up the climate change adaptation planning process in other municipalities.
The Front Runner network
Two new networks were started in 2015. One network was established by the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS), another initiative came from the Ministry of Climate and Environment: This network a front runner network, will focus on sharing knowledge and expertise through joint projects, and will also, when relevant, support as national CCA-processes.
Case studies from different municipalities in Norway can be found on www.klimatilpasning.no