2.1 The City Government’s initiatives for reducing GHG emissions in Oslo

In 2019, road transport, waste incineration and construction accounted for almost 90 % of all GHG emissions within Oslo’s boundaries. The remaining emissions primarily originate from shipping, abandoned landfill sites and the heating of buildings. In this Climate Budget, the City Government has therefore prioritised tightening the instruments aimed at reducing the three largest sources of emissions. The City Government’s initiatives in this year’s Climate Budget are presented below.

2.1.1 Road transport

Public transport heading out of the pandemic

Through long-term and targeted initiatives, public transport has been developed over a period of many years into a genuine competitor to the car. The decline in the number of journeys being made by public transport during the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in an extraordinary situation for public transport and its associated funding. New travel patterns need to be established in the wake of the pandemic. The City Government is aiming to reduce car travel and encourage more people to travel by public transport. This involves efficient and attractive public transport services. Walking and cycling have become increasingly popular during the pandemic. The goal going forward is to maintain or increase the number of people walking and cycling, while at the same time ensuring that public transport at least wins back the market share lost during lockdown. Overall, the proportion of climate-friendly travel shall increase. For 2022, the City Government is proposing an appropriation of NOK 135 million with the aim of maintaining the overall level of public transport provision in the face of reduced ticket revenue. Furthermore, the City Government is proposing an annual increase of NOK 50 million to ensure zero-emission ferry and bus operations in Oslo by the end of 2023.

For 2024 and 2025, the City Government is proposing an annual increase of NOK 25 million for improvements to public transport.  An annual appropriation of NOK 4 million is also proposed for study and analysis capacity to boost the systematic work being carried out to reduce traffic and improve the accessibility of public transport. A number of major bus contracts will commence in Oslo in 2022 and 2023, and under the City Government’s budget proposal, it will be possible for Ruter’s operations (the dominant bus company in Oslo) to be zero-emission by the end of 2023, bringing forward the goal of zero-emission public transport by 2028.


Oslo set to become a pilot city for zero-emission heavy vehicles

By 2025, the “Pilot city for zero-emission heavy transport vehicles» initiative will cut emissions from heavy vehicles by more than 17,000 tonnes CO2e per year. In addition, climate requirements regarding the transport of bulk materials will contribute emission reductions of approximately 2,000 tonnes CO2e annually. In order to achieve this, the City of Oslo has developed a coordinated package of instruments for heavy vehicles, which aim to accelerate the transition from diesel to electricity, hydrogen or biogas. Key instruments are environmentally differentiated rates in the road toll payment system, climate requirements in procurements, cooperation with the business community, charging infrastructure and energy stations, in addition to a subsidy scheme for charging infrastructure. The municipality will also investigate further whether zero-emission trucks should be given access to public transport lanes on national and municipal roads. In order to rapidly meet growing demand for charging infrastructure for heavy vehicles and contribute to the establishment of a market at an early stage, the City Government is proposing an appropriation of NOK 10 million in 2022 for the establishment of charging points, totalling NOK 36 million during the economic plan period. The City Government is also proposing to set aside NOK 30.8 million from 2022 to 2025 for zero-emission construction machinery and vehicles for the Agency for Cemeteries and Burials. In addition, the City Government will set aside NOK 50 million in 2022 to cover additional costs for zero-emission heavy vehicles and machinery. In order to achieve the goal for all of the municipality’s heavy vehicles and machinery to be zero-emission by 2025, all relevant entities must draw up specific plans for the replacement of vehicles and machinery.


Development of zero-emission zones

A zero-emission zone is an area that is reserved exclusively for vehicles powered by electricity, hydrogen or biogas. The City of Oslo is investigating how a zone can be established and gradually expanded. The municipality will apply to the central government to establish a pilot project for zero-emission zones, as facilitated through the Norwegian government’s Climate plan for 2021-2030 (Report to the Storting No. 13 (2021-2030)). The City Government is allocating NOK 4 million in 2022 and NOK 10 million in 2023-2025 for essential investments in the establishment of a zero-emission zone.

Norconsult has estimated that a zero-emission zone limited to Oslo city centre (the car-free “city life area” outside Grønland and Tøyen) could result in emission reductions in 2023 of 8,000 tonnes CO2 in Oslo alone, and 27,000 CO2 tonnes including the impact outside Oslo’s boundaries. With a zone within Ring 2, emissions can be reduced by an estimated 31,000 tonnes in Oslo alone, and 76,000 tonnes including the impact outside Oslo’s boundaries. Zero-emission zones can thus become a powerful instrument which could bring about reductions equivalent to one third of the estimated carbon capture effect of the Klemetsrud facility.  The study of zero-emission zones will continue in 2022, with the aim of entry into force during the term of the current city government. Zero-emission zones in Oslo are also a priority area in the EU’s MOVE21 innovation project. Oslo is leading MOVE21, and approximately NOK 30 million of the funding from the EU has been granted to participants from the Oslo region.


More and better charging infrastructure to be built

The widespread provision of charging infrastructure for all vehicle groups is an essential prerequisite for electrification of the transport sector. Although charging is essential for electrification, it is not possible to estimate the impact of measures relating to charging infrastructure in isolation. The City Government is proposing the appropriation of NOK 15 million in 2022, NOK 61.5 million annually during the period 2023-2024 and NOK 30.5 million in 2025 for charging infrastructure for cars, taxis, vans, trucks and buses (excluding Ruter). A total of NOK 168.5 million of new funding will be allocated for charging infrastructure during the economic plan period. This is in addition to the existing funding for charging infrastructure for 2022 of NOK 35.5 million. The establishment of charging infrastructure is a prerequisite for the introduction of other measures such as zero-emission zones and climate requirements concerning the taxi industry and procurements. In addition, NOK 2 million is being set aside annually for 2024 (a total of NOK 6 million) for the rental of containerised charging solutions for the ultra-fast charging of electric trucks and dumper trucks. See the section on building and construction for additional appropriations for containerised charging solutions.


Parking measures to reduce road traffic and GHG emissions

Parking measures are a crucial and effective means of limiting road transport, and thereby reducing GHG emissions. This view is supported by urban studies conducted by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration covering all major urban areas in Norway from 2018. It is almost impossible to calculate the precise climate impact of parking measures in isolation, as this instrument interacts with many other instruments in the transport sector.

The municipality’s parking regulations, which are intended to stimulate reductions in road transport and the transition to zero-emission vehicles, remain in place. Parking charges in the yellow zone, including non-resident parking in residential zones, will rise by 25 % in 2022, in line with previous resolutions. The increase in charges will apply to both fossil fuel cars and electric cars. New parking regulations, which set out rules concerning the number and design of parking spaces for cars and bicycles linked to residential and commercial buildings, will be presented for political consideration during the first half of 2022. The municipality is also trialling a scheme for car-sharing in public car parking spaces. The aim of this trial scheme is to facilitate the greater use of car-sharing, reduce overall car use in Oslo, and reduce public road space used for parking. The trial scheme will be evaluated after 2022.


Strengthening the efforts relating to climate-friendly travel to/from work in municipal entities

Access to (free) parking at the workplace is a key factor in people opting to drive to work. The City Government is proposing to set aside NOK 10 million to continue the support scheme under which municipal entities can apply for funding to enable their employees to travel in a more climate-friendly way when travelling on business and to and from work. The City Government will also ask all municipal entities to present a plan to enable their employees to commute to and from work in a more climate-friendly way. In addition, the entities shall present a plan which explains how business travel will take place using climate-friendly forms of transport. The entities will be asked to consider whether parking spaces can be removed completely and/or whether charging facilities can be provided where they are not already available. The City Government will continue to encourage private and public sector employers to introduce fees for the use of employee parking spaces.


Road tolls for fossil fuel cars to be increased

A supplementary agreement to the urban growth agreement has been signed which includes lower road tolls for zero-emission vehicles. This will contribute to emission reductions during the economic plan period. Oslo Package 3 will be renegotiated during 2022. Oslo will then strive to secure further cuts in emissions through increases in road tolls and time-based pricing, combined with an increase in the price differential between fossil fuel vehicles and zero-emission vehicles. For example, an increase in the price differential between fossil fuel and electric vehicles of NOK 20 through to 2025 could reduce emissions by around 22,000 tonnes CO2 in 2025, compared with the scenario where no new measures are introduced.

Exemptions/discounts for biogas-powered heavy vehicles inside the road toll ring, which was adopted by the steering group for Oslo Package 3 two years ago, could also become an important climate measure in 2022. The City Government will work to ensure that the exemption enters into force in Oslo in January 2022, but this will require certain clarifications from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. In May 2021, the Storting decided to ask «the Government to ensure the equal treatment of biogas vehicles and zero-emission vehicles on routes funded via road tolls with effect from 1 January 2022».

2.1.2 Building and construction

Imposition of climate requirements

In the 2021 Climate Budget, the City Government decided to introduce requirements for fossil-free construction sites in new zoning plans.  This instrument will significantly reduce emissions from construction sites over the next few years, by up to an estimated 100,000 tonnes CO2e in 2025. This estimate is uncertain, as the figures provided by the Norwegian Environment Agency are of poor quality. The City Government is also keen to ensure that municipal construction sites are fossile-free and will set aside NOK 6 million in 2022 for the establishment of sufficient electrical capacity at construction sites at Oslobygg (battery containers) and Boligbygg (power supply for charging), as well as NOK 2.5 million annually for two positions which will be responsible for developing and following up environmental and climate requirements in procurements.  The City Council is also proposing to set aside NOK 44.4 million annually in the economic plan to cover additional costs relating to the Agency for Urban Environment’s road operation contracts, partly as a result of climate and environmental requirements. Environmental and climate requirements in public procurements are one of the municipality’s key instruments in the promotion of climate-friendly solutions in all sectors. In 2022, the City Government will tighten the requirements concerning the municipality’s new joint procurement agreements and require zero emissions from the transport of goods and services.


Fossil-free transport and handling of bulk materials

Since 2020, the City of Oslo has required the fossil-free transport of bulk materials to and from construction sites in its own projects. All projects involving the transporting of bulk materials where the municipality is the buyer are expected to become fossil-free during the economic plan period.

The City Government will continue to strive to make the handling of bulk materials more climate-friendly. This includes a set of criteria for assessing the climate impacts of all planning and building cases. The Agency for Planning and Building Services has received funding from the Klimasats grant scheme for a two-year project with a bulk materials coordinator to ensure the climate-friendly handling of bulk materials throughout the planning process.


Emissions from construction materials

Emissions from the production and handling of construction materials are amongst the largest emission sources to which the City of Oslo’s own entities contribute outside the municipality’s boundaries. The City Government is working to set an ambitious target to reduce GHG emissions from material use by its own entities. Funding has been awarded by the Klimasats grant scheme for the realisation of a digital tool for life-cycle calculations.

2.1.3 Waste incineration

Establish carbon capture and storage at Klemetsrud

The City Government will continue to work to achieve carbon capture and storage (CCS) at the Klemetsrud waste-to-energy facility. This will be crucial in achieving Oslo’s climate targets. In Report to the Storting 33 (2019-2020) Longship – Carbon capture and storage, the Government proposed the awarding of NOK 3 billion to Fortum Oslo Varme’s carbon capture project, subject to the condition that Fortum Oslo Varme AS obtains sufficient self-funding and funding from the EU or other sources. Fortum Oslo Varme As has applied for funding from the EU’s Innovation Fund. The project is currently in the second round of the application process. A final response is anticipated during the last quarter of 2021. Subject to these assumptions and in light of the application process for the EU’s Innovation Fund, the project may not become operational until 2026 at the earliest.

Household waste in Oslo is incinerated at Haraldrud. The municipality is currently investigating the possibility of incinerating household waste with carbon capture. This includes entering into a dialogue with Oslo Fortum Varme AS and other potential suppliers of carbon capture incineration services. Assuming that the dialogue with the market is productive, or that it is decided that the municipality will continue to process household waste inhouse with carbon capture, this will eliminate the second largest point emission source in the municipality. In addition, it will be important in 2022 to clarify the instruments that will be required to achieve the target plastic recycling rate of 65 % by 2030. This will be determined on the basis of an ongoing investigation. Ensuring that more waste plastic is sorted upon disposal will be an important step in achieving the climate targets.

2.1.4 Spatial planning

Climate considerations in the land-use section of the municipal master plan

Oslo is revising its land-use section for the municipal master plan, with the aim of ensuring that this section can be adopted in 2023. The key instrument in the land-use section for contributing to the 2030 target lies in the coordination of land use and transport. To ensure that the land-use section actually underpins the 2030 target, the climate impacts of the plan must be analysed. In particular, the analysis will address the consequences of the overarching measures in the land-use section as regards GHG emissions from road transport and land-use reallocation.


Further development of climate criteria in the processing of planning and building matters

In order to highlight and assess how the consideration of planning and building cases contributes to attainment of the climate targets, the Agency for Planning and Building Services has developed climate criteria for use in case processing. In cooperation with Bergen, Oslo is now working to further develop the climate criteria in order to also assess GHG emissions which occur outside the municipality’s boundaries when considering planning and building cases. The methodology can be used in projects in both the private and public sectors.


The Climate and Energy Fund

Through subsidies for climate and energy measures, the City Government is facilitating the implementation of measures by residents and businesses in Oslo to reduce GHG emissions and improve energy efficiency.  The City Government is proposing to continue the commitment of NOK 120 million. Relevant subsidy schemes in 2022 that can help to cut GHG emissions include:

Road transport:

  • Subsidies for charging facilities at housing cooperatives and jointly owned properties
  • Subsidies for charging facilities for electric vans for companies
  • Subsidies for rapid chargers for vans
  • Subsidies for charging stations for electric taxis
  • Subsidies to purchase electric cargo bikes for companies
  • Subsidies for climate-smart travel to/from work
  • Subsidies to provide secure bike parking for housing cooperatives and jointly owned properties
  • Subsidies for the charging of heavy vehicles
  • Subsidies for depot charging facilities for buses (excluding Ruter’s buses)

Building and construction:

  • Subsidies for mapping how a construction site can become a zero-emissions site
  • Subsidies for electric motorised equipment

Energy improvements:

  • Subsidies for the installation of solar panels in housing cooperatives, jointly owned properties and commercial buildings
  • Subsidies for insulation and the replacement of windows and doors in housing cooperatives and jointly owned properties
  • Subsidies for energy improvements in private housing

All sectors:

  • Subsidies for pilot and development projects for climate cuts and energy savings