The Environmental Agreement

The Environmental Agreement on NOx 2011-2017 was signed on the 14th of December 2010 by 15 business organisations and the Ministry of the Environment. The agreement is an extension of the the Environmental Agreement on NOx for the period 2008-2010. The Environmental Agreement - and the Participant Agreement - constitutes the framework for the efforts of the Business Sector’s NOx Fund.

Grass with small white flower

Through the Environmental Agreement, the Business Organisations shall facilitate concrete reductions of the nitrogen oxide gases that are harmful to the environment. Undertakings that sign the Agreement will be exempt from paying NOx tax in return for their commitment to the obligations laid down by the Business Sector’s NOx Fund whose primary task is to provide funding for NOx-reducing measures.

The agreements are important contributions to meet Norway’s commitments in the Gothenburg Protocol for 2010 and the future NOx commitments Norway will receive in 2020. In addition, the work ensures improved calculations on NOx emissions.

The Environmental Agreement 2011-2017
In total, the business organisations shall facilitate emission reductions stipulated in the Agreement 2011-2017 to 16,000 tonnes of NOx, as well as maintain the effect of the obtained emission reductions for the entire period. The Agreement has for this period both yearly and two-year goals to fulfil.

  Year Tonnes of NOx  
  2011 3 000 obligation met
  2012 2 000 obligation met
  2013 and 2014 4 000 obligation met
  2015 and 2016 4 000  
  2017 3 000  

The Environmental Agreement 2008-2010

The NOx Fund can document that the emission obligations in the Environmental Agreement 2008-2010 have been met with a total reduction of 18 000 tonnes NOx.

  Year Tonnes of NOx  
  2008                       2 000  obligation met
  2009   4 000  obligation met
  2010 12 000  obligation met*

*7 000 tonnes was implemented in 2011 for agreements made prior to 31.12.2010.

Surveillance, Breach of Contract and Sanctions
The Norwegian Pollution Control Authority shall act as the proper surveillance authority in relation to NOx emissions, whose task is to check whether the obligations relating to emissions for a given year have been complied with.

Both parties may terminate the Agreement in cases where the obligations relating to reductions have been under-fulfilled by more than 25 % for a given year. Should the Agreement be terminated, the tax exemption will also cease to apply as of 1st January of the current year. If the Agreement is upheld the obligation shall be transferred to next year’s obligations.

By a deviation of more than 10% from the emission obligations for a given year, a collective sanction shall enter into force. The undertakings in question will then have to pay NOx tax for the percentage of the obligations to which the non-compliance applies. When determining which rate to apply for the payment of NOx tax, the payment made to the NOx Fund should also be taken into account as the enterprises should not pay more than they would have paid in NOx-tax.

Important information efforts
The business organisations and the authorities will work actively to increase the market capacity linked to the implementation of NOx reducing measures. The new Environmental Agreement for the period 2011-2017 focuses on long lasting measures. The Business Sector’s NOx Fund will contribute to this effort.

Approval by ESA

On 16 July 2008 the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) approved the Environmental Agreement on NOx 2008-2010. On 19 May 2011 ESA approved the Environmental Agreement 2011-2017.

Duration
The term of agreement which shall apply to the Environmental Agreement is 31.12.2017. The obligations of the NOx Fund, with regard to the granting of support for operating costs and the like shall apply until 31.12.2018.