What is NOx?

Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are waste gases which lead to acid rain and increased concentrations of ground-level ozone. Emissions may have harmful effects on the eco system and vegetation in addition to being hazardous to people’s health.

Smoke from a chimney

NOx is emitted from the combustion of oil, gas and bio-fuel. The emissions may be reduced by improving the combustion processes and through a change-over to fuels which serve to reduce emissions, or by installing cleansing equipment.

The Gothenburg Protocol

Through the Gothenburg Protocol Norway has committed itself to reducing its total annual emissions of NOx up to a maximum of 151,000 tonnes in 2020.

New NOx Agreeement

The NOx Agreement for the period 2018-2025 is signed. The Agreement must be approved by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) before it enters into force.

In the new NOx agreement, the business organisations (through the NOx Fund) commit that the total emissions of NOx, from sources covered by the Agreement, are kept under fixed two-year emission ceilings. The emission ceilings are:

  • Combined total for 2018 and 2019: 202,510 tonnes NOx
  • Combined total for 2020 and 2021: 192,510 tonnes NOx
  • Combined total for 2022 and 2023: 182,510 tonnes NOx
  • Combined total for 2024 and 2025: 172,510 tonnes NOx

Previous Environmental Agreements on NOx 

The NOx Agreement 2018-2025 is an extension of the Environmental Agreement on NOx for the period 2008-2010 and the period 2011-2017. The Environmental Agreement 2008-2010 reduced Norway's emissions by 18,000 tonnes of NOx.

The Environmental Agreement on NOx for the period 2011-2017 shall further reduce Norway's NOx emissions by 16,000 tonnes, and maintain the effect of already achieved emission reductions throughout the entire period. The NOx Fund has documented a reduction of 13,000 tonnes of NOx. Remaining obligation of 3,000 tonnes for 2017 will be documented in the NOx Fund's annual report in May. 

Emission reductions as a result of the Agreements are first and foremost from the shipping and fishing fleet, but also measures in the mainland industry and offshore petroleum industry. Ship owners may reduce emissions by installing cleansing equipment, battery installation, upgrading the ship engine or by switching from diesel to gas.