Norway’s Ministry of Climate and Environment plan to ban oil and paraffin heating systems by 2020
Soon to be a thing of the past in Norway: a paraffin heater. Image by Andreas Poertner (via Shutterstock).
Some readers of a certain age might remember using a paraffin heater. Esso Blue and Pink Paraffin were the main brands, for camping stoves or portable heaters. In some countries, paraffin in a different expression to the brands, is used in central heating systems. It is popular in Japan and Norway, alongside oil based systems.
From 2020, Norway’s Ministry of Climate and Environment have decided to ban all paraffin and oil based heating systems. Not only on new build properties, also existent properties. This will affect domestic landlord and owner-occupiers as well as businesses. Its Environment Minister, Vidar Helgesen, has recommended the use of wood burning stoves, heat pumps, and harnessing the country’s hydroelectric grid.
Norway, which owes its prosperity to North Sea oil revenues, aims to cut carbon emissions by an estimated 340,000 tonnes per year. In 2015, Norway’s carbon emissions total stood at 53.9 million tonnes. Last year, they were 3.3% above 1990 levels. As per the Paris climate agreement, the country aims to make sharp cuts in carbon emissions by 2030.
80,000 homes and 20,000 non-residential properties in Norway have fossil fuel based heating system. It is also a leader in environmental policies as well as oil, natural gas, and condensate production. Two million barrels a year come from the North Sea. During the 1970s (when North Sea oil production led to a boom), Norwegians turned from wood burning systems to oil and paraffin based heating.