Oslo reiterates pledge of at least 30 pct CO2 cut

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway reaffirmed on Thursday a unilateral pledge to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 percent by 2020 as part of international efforts to combat global warming.

Environment Minister Erik Solheim also restated a policy announced in October that Oslo was willing to deepen the cuts to 40 percent below 1990 levels if other nations showed more ambition as part of an international agreement.

“For now we will report in the 30 to 40 percent range,” he told a news conference, referring to a letter to be sent to the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat before a January 31 deadline.

Even a pledge to cut by 30 percent would be among the most ambitious of any developed nation. Norway, which has a $450 billion fund built up from oil revenues, can afford to buy carbon emissions quotas to supplement cuts in domestic emissions.

Last month’s Copenhagen Accord set a January 31 deadline for countries to say if they want to be associated with a deal, worked out by nations including the United States and China, and to outline their greenhouse gas curbs to 2020.

“We have to ensure that everything promised in Copenhagen is carried out,” Solheim said. The accord set a goal of limiting warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) and a target for aid to developing nations of $100 billion a year from 2020.

Other nations have also stuck to existing carbon promises without raising their ambitions since Copenhagen.

Editing by Noah Barkin