Norway doubles carbon tax on big oil, more cash to forests

OSLO Mon Oct 8, 2012 5:20am EDT

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OSLO Oct 8 (Reuters) - Norway will almost double carbon taxes on the oil industry in 2013 and raise cash to help developing nations protect tropical forests as part of measures to combat climate change, its draft budget showed on Monday.

The carbon tax on the offshore petroleum industry would be raised by 200 Norwegian crowns ($35.3) per tonne in 2013, it said.

"This corresponds to an emissions charge of roughly 410 crowns per tonne of carbon dioxide," the government said.

The budget also proposes a 50 crowns per tonne tax on emissions from the fishing industry.

The government would also create a fund of 10 billion crowns to promote cuts in greenhouse gases and renewable energy. Use of fossil fuels is the main source of greenhouse gases from mankind's activities.

Norway would also raise the amount of cash spent to help developing nations protect tropical forests, which absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, to 3 billion crowns in 2013, up about 400 million from 2012.

Norway has been the most generous developed nation in helping slow deforestation under a U.N. plan.

"The efforts in this area are yielding good results. Norway has helped achieve considerable reductions in emissions in Brazil and better forest management in Indonesia, Ethiopia, Guyana and Tanzania, among others," the Environment Ministry said in a statement.

Drafted by the Labour-led three-party government, the budget shows Norway would also allocate 630 million crowns to purchases of emissions credits in 2013 to help it achieve a goal of cutting greenhouse gases.

Norway has set a goal of reducing its greenhouse emissions by 30 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, among the most ambitious goals in the world. They were 5.6 percent above 1990 levels last year.

($1 = 5.6655 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting By Alister Doyle; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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