Everyone living in Europe is influenced by the European Union. This includes not only Member States but also other countries such as Norway and Switzerland as they are bound by treaties with the EU. However, many citizens feel detached from the European Union, or that their interests are not represented. This can in turn result in a lack of trust in the European Institutions.
The European Green Deal is the path of sustainability that the European Union will pursue in the next decades. It will transform the European continent into a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy, thereby striving to be the first climate-neutral continent. Even if some of the EU provisions are not directly binding for Norway, businesses in Norway are nevertheless strongly impacted and the overall importance of sustainability cannot be neglected.
On June 24th 2021, the European Parliament adopted the new Climate Act for the EU. Through this new law, the EU is aiming to achieve its goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050.
The EU Taxonomy sets out four main conditions for an economic activity to qualify as environmentally sustainable. One of these conditions is that the activity complies with technical screening criteria established by the European Commission.
To promote sustainability and green growth, the Norwegian government and certain private organizations are granting subsidies to companies who can document an eco-friendly way of doing business.
The European Union recently passed new regulations on sustainable finance. As a result of the new regulations, companies in all industries are forced to be more sustainable in order to obtain financial funding. It is expected that the regulations will be implemented in Norwegian law during the first half of 2021. The implementation will be of great importance for companies operating in Norway.