Norway's greenhouse gases jump 4.8 percent in 2010

OSLO Wed May 25, 2011 1:33pm BST

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway's greenhouse gas emissions rose 4.8 percent in 2010 after a two-year decline and are well above the country's goals under a U.N. plan, Statistics Norway said on Wednesday.

"Higher metal production and more transport have contributed most to the increase," it said in a statement.

Emissions rose to 53.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents from 51.3 million in 2009 and exactly matched levels in 2008. Emissions were up 8.0 percent from 49.8 million tonnes in 1990, the base year under U.N. treaties.

"The large increase should be regarded in relation to the emission reductions in 2008 and 2009, caused by the financial crisis," it said. Even so, the 2010 rise far outpaced a one percent gain in production from industries and other emitters.

Norway has said it will cut its emissions by nine percent below 1990 levels during the period from 2008 to 2012, unilaterally tightening an original target agreed under the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol that foresaw a one percent rise from 1990.

"Increased economic activity in 2010 contributed to higher emissions from manufacturing industries and transport, it said.

"In addition, a cold winter with high electricity prices led to an increase in emissions from heating. There were only minor changes from 2009 to 2010 in emissions from agriculture and oil and gas-related activities," it said.

Oslo's government has also agreed to cut emissions by 30 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, or by 40 percent if there is a "global and comprehensive agreement".

Norway's targets are among the toughest goals in the world but the OECD warned Oslo last week that it would need to take much tougher measures.

Carbon dioxide emissions in 2010, driven up by oil and gas production, were the highest since records began in 1973, Statistics Norway said. Emissions of other greenhouse gases, such as nitrous oxides, were down.

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(Editing by Jason Neely)

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