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Norwayâ€™s Finance Minster, Kristin Halvorsen, has proposed to ban petrol cars by 2015 in order to lower CO2 emissions and encourage car manufacturers to begin making more environmentally friendly models. That would mean only electric, biofuel, hydrogen or hybrid cars could be bought in the Scandinavian country by that date. Speaking about the proposal, Ms. Halvorsen said, "This is much more realistic than people think when they first hear about [it]. The financial crisis means a lot of those car producers that now have big problems know they have to develop their technology, because we also have to solve the climate crisis when this financial crisis is over." However, the ban would not apply to used cars â€“ petrol or diesel â€“ bought before 2015.
This proposal is both interesting and surprising, as Norway is the worldâ€™s sixth-largest oil exporter. Indeed, Ms. Halvorsen 's proposition is likely to be subjected to heated debate, as the idea has some opponents, even within the government itself.
Irish Parliament Pushes Government for More Action on CO2
The Irish Government stated last year that it expects 10 percent of the vehicles on Irish roads to be electric-powered by 2020. To bring this about, an agreement has been signed with the Electricity Supply Board to put recharging stations in different locations throughout the country. However, the Oireachtas (Irish national parliament) Joint Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security published a report recently in which it encourages the Government to go even further in its measures to combat CO2 emissions. The authors of the report envisage that by 2020 all new vehicles on the market should be powered by electric engines, with at least 350,000 electric cars already in use by the same date.