Climate change communication and education

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1. Context

2. Climate change education and training in the country

3. Climate change communication in the country

4. Monitoring and evaluation


  1. Context

i. Climate change context

Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a democratic parliamentary system of governance. The country’s Eighth National Communication (2023) notes that Norway has a total area of almost 324,000 km2 and 5.5 million inhabitants. More than one-third of Norway’s population lives in the six largest city areas.

According to the Global Carbon Atlas, in 2021, the average carbon dioxide emissions per person in Norway was 7.6 tons, ranking number 40 in the world. Also in 2021, Norway’s emissions totalled 49.1 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, accounting for 0.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions and classifying it as a mid-emitting country.

Norway signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as an Annex I country in 1993. The country also signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1998 and ratified it in 2002, accepted the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol in 2014 and ratified the Paris Agreement in April 2016. Norway submitted its Eighth National Communication (2023) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in March 2023.

While Norway has not yet declared a national climate emergency, in its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (2022), it set a climate target to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. According to the Climate Action Tracker, Norway also committed to achieving a 90-95% greenhouse gas emissions reduction below 1990 levels by 2050. Norway participates in the High Ambition Coalition, Global Ocean Alliance, and Leaders Pledge for Nature.

There are traditional Sami settlements covering the area from Engerdal in the northern part of the Innlandet county to the border with Russia. The Sami population is officially recognized as an Indigenous group with special rights. In the country’s constitution, specifically in an amendment made to article 108, there is a commitment to guarantee that the Sami people have the right to engage in their traditional cultural practices and economic activities. Sami culture, lifestyle and economic activities are highly dependent on the natural resource base in their traditional settlement areas and other areas they utilize. This means that climate change is likely to have a significant impact on them. However, other economic and social factors are anticipated to also affect traditional Sami culture, meaning that climate change is one of several factors that will impact the culture and way of life of. In the latest report on climate change adaptation, Climate change - together for a climate resilient society (2023), the strong impact of climate change on the Sami culture and way of life is emphasized.

In 2022, staff from the Ministry of Culture and Equality, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Climate and Environment participated in the Nordic Roundtable on Gender Equality and Climate Justice. The Nordic Roundtable was convened by the Forum for Women and Development, UN Women, and the Nordic Council of Ministers, which includes participants from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, the Åland Islands and Norway. The main goal of the Roundtable was to discuss and find solutions to the intersection between climate justice and gender equality and promote a Nordic approach to gender equality. A list of key takeaways from the roundtable includes: set tangible ambitions and commitments for a gender-responsive and just transition; push for equal representation in leadership and decision making and analyse how gender norms influence climate policies; assess the impacts of climate and energy strategies; nurture a community of a new generation of activists; and transform actions, attitudes and structures.

ii. Relevant government agencies 

Climate change

The Ministry of Climate and Environment (previously called the Ministry of Environment) is responsible for integrating climate and environmental policies and is made up of six departments: Department of Sustainability and Transition, Department for Marine Management and Pollution Control, Department for Climate Change, Department for Cultural Environment and Polar Affairs and Department for Nature Management and Department for Organizational Affairs

The Department of Sustainability and Transition is in charge of developing climate and environmental policies, and overseeing economic growth and the green transition. The department is also responsible for Norway’s international work in tropical forests, as part of its commitment to minimize deforestation globally. Activities include bilateral cooperation with countries with the largest rainforests, contributing to multilateral efforts, supporting civil society organizations (CSOs), and collaborating with the business community to create supply chains that do not involve deforestation.

The Department for Marine Management and Pollution Control leads the development of legal, administrative and economic regulations and incentives, as well as the implementation and expansion of relevant international agreements.

The Department for Climate Change is responsible for the development of national climate change policy and international climate change activities. It is also responsible for local air quality and general environmental and development issues. The department is divided into five units, including an administrative unit and the International Climate and Forest Initiative of the Government of Norway. Four key units of the Department of Climate Change are: the Section for Climate Policy Analysis, the Section for Renewable Energy, the Section for Transport and Local Environment, and the Section for Finance and Development.

The Section for Climate Policy Analysis is in charge of coordinating national climate policy, including the formulation and implementation of new measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the petroleum and onshore industries. The section is responsible for ensuring that Norway meets its international commitments under the UNFCC and the Kyoto Protocol. It is also responsible for the EU Emissions Trading System and coordinates work on the EU's ambitious climate regulations (the ‘Fit for 55’ programme) and the dialogue with the EU on the joint achievement of 2030 climate targets.

The Section for Renewable Energy is in charge of the department’s renewable energy, bioenergy and energy efficiency efforts. Bioenergy work includes a focus on biomass, biofuels, and biogas, as well as the department's efforts to reduce emissions and increase carbon absorption in forestry, land use, agriculture and construction.

The Section for Transport and Local Environment works on various measures and instruments to help reduce emissions and contribute to the green transition of the transport sector (road traffic and aviation). These include the increased use of environmentally beneficial modes of transportation and cleaner vehicles, and measures related to infrastructure. The section is in charge of coordinating Norway's work on climate change adaptation and is responsible for the administration of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET).

The Section for Finance and Development is responsible for environment and development-related tasks. Work areas include bilateral climate and environmental cooperation with China, India and South Africa, green economy initiatives in developing nations, responsibility for the government programme for purchasing carbon credits, and the development of international market mechanisms, climate finance and short-lived climate pollutants.

The Department for Nature Management develops policies to protect biodiversity on land and in freshwater and ensures the holistic and sustainable management of nature through use, conservation and recreation. The department is also responsible for predator animal management.

The Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, the Norwegian Environment Agency, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund are subordinate agencies of the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

The Norwegian Environment Agency acts as the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) focal point in Norway. The agency aims for a clean and diverse environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, managing Norwegian natural spaces and preventing pollution.

The Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre is a national repository of biodiversity-related knowledge. Its primary mission is to make current and readily accessible information about Norwegian species and biotopes available to the public. This organization works as an administrative agency of the Ministry of Climate and Environment. The primary responsibilities of the centre are assessments of the risks to species and ecosystems, digital instruments and services for biodiversity research, and generating new insights concerning Norway's species and ecosystems.

The key responsibility of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute is to safeguard lives and property by announcing weather forecasts and warnings to individuals, emergency planning authorities and government agencies.

The Norwegian Polar Institute is centred on environmental management requirements in polar regions. This institute serves as the primary state institution responsible for conducting mapping and scientific investigations in polar regions. The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation is a professional part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation is subordinate to the Ministry of Climate and Environment in matters involving climate and forestry initiatives. The main objective of the organization is to ensure that Norwegian development aid funds are utilized optimally and to report on what works and what does not. Norad, the Norwegian Development Agency, is taking steps to align Norwegian development assistance with the Paris Agreement goals. Its upcoming action plan focuses on five areas: i) minimizing Norad's environmental impact; ii) enhancing climate-focused aid effectiveness; iii) integrating climate concerns into all development sectors; iv) aiding green transitions of it partners; and v) assisting with the national implementation of environmental agreements.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is primarily responsible for coordinating and integrating energy policy. A primary objective is to guarantee high-value creation by managing Norway's energy resources efficiently and sustainably. The ministry’s five departments include the Climate, Industry and Technology Department and the Energy and Water Resources Department (EV). The objectives of the Climate, Industry and Technology Department is to enhance cooperation among the sector's diverse actors. The main objective of the Energy and Water Resources Department (EV) is to ensure the economic and ecological sustainability of the management of water and hydropower resources, other domestic energy sources, and energy consumption.

Education and communication

The Ministry of Education and Research oversees the management of all education, ranging from K-12 to higher education and vocational education. According to Norway’s Eighth National Communication (2023), the ministry works closely across departments and ministries on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the national and global levels. Norway participates in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development. The ministry is made up of a number of departments: Department for Schools and Kindergartens; the Department for Education, Training and Skills Policy; the Department for Administration and Strategic Priorities; the Department for Legal Affairs; the Department for Governance of Higher Education and Research Institutions; the Department for Higher Education, Research and International Affairs; and the Communication Unit.

The Research Council of Norway is an administrative agency under the Ministry of Education and Research. The council is a national strategic research authority, which has a high degree of autonomy. It manages research funding from all Norwegian ministries and allocates funds to fundamental, applied and innovative research in all fields and disciplines.

The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training is the executive agency for the Ministry of Education and Research and is responsible for kindergarten and primary and secondary education. The directorate is responsible for the governance of the education sector, as well as the implementation of statutory and regulatory provisions. It is also responsible for gathering and updating all national statistics relating to kindergarten, primary and secondary education. The statistics are used for carrying out and monitoring research and development.

The Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills is the executive agency of the Ministry of Education and Research responsible for the national skills policy and higher education and higher vocational education. The directorate advises the Ministry of Education and Research, puts national policies into action, and ensures that management tools and reward programmes are executed efficiently. The directorate also contributes to improving the quality of education and skills, strengthens international collaboration, and is a driving force in the digital reorganization of Norwegian universities and colleges.

According to the Ministry of Education and Research, on 1 January 2022, the Norwegian Centre for Research Data, Uninett AS and the Norwegian Directorate for ICT and Joint Services in Higher Education & Research merged to form the Norwegian Agency for Shared Services in Education and Research (Sikt). Sikt will develop, facilitate and distribute new technology to streamline processes, enhance the quality of technology and ensure that the public has access to information about it.

iii. Relevant laws, policies, and plans 

Climate change

Section 112 of the Norwegian Constitution states that:

Every person has the right to an environment that is conducive to health and to a natural environment whose productivity and diversity are maintained. Natural resources shall be managed based on comprehensive long-term considerations which will safeguard this right for future generations as well. To safeguard their right under the foregoing paragraph, citizens are entitled to information on the state of the natural environment and on the effects of any encroachment on nature that is planned or carried out. The authorities of the state shall take measures for the implementation of these principles.

The Ministry of Climate and Environment enacted the Environmental Information Act in 2003. The Act intended to enable public access to environmental information held by the authorities so that the public can make informed decisions about environmental issues. It is worth noting, however, that the Act does not specifically mention climate change.

The Ministry of Climate and Environment endorsed the Climate Change Act in 2018 to promote the implementation of Norway’s climate targets. Apart from reporting requirements , the Act did not explicitly include content on climate change communication and education.

Norway’s Humanitarian Strategy (2018) places adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction at the top of the international agenda and ensures that its humanitarian action, development cooperation and peacebuilding efforts complement one another. It will promote a green humanitarian response and seek to integrate climate change and environmental concerns into humanitarian efforts.

Norway’s long-term low-emission strategy for 2050 (2019) emphasizes the importance of ensuring that the education system and ongoing training initiatives equip individuals with the appropriate skills to secure employment in a future low-emission society. The strategy also states that research and higher education play a pivotal role in constructing a sustainable society.

The country's green recovery strategies from the COVID-19 pandemic are outlined in Norway's Green Recovery from COVID-19 Platform for redesign in 2020. Point 4 of the document relates to international cooperation around climate and forest issues. Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) supports the efforts of developing nations to reduce emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation. While the NICFI's budget was not increased in light of COVID-19, funding support for capacity development in partner countries (such as for control and law enforcement) and for Indigenous peoples was prioritized.

 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs unveiled a new Strategy for Norway’s efforts in the Sahel region (2021–2025) (2021). Norway has pursued an integrated strategy in its involvement in the region by funding development, humanitarian assistance and stabilization efforts. Through this involvement, Norway has contributed to ensuring that 21 million people in need have received protection and gained access to food, clean water, shelter and other forms of humanitarian assistance. The country’s interventions have also enabled more girls and boys to attend school and more families to engage in climate-resilient food production.

According to a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway has pledged NOK 100 million (US $9.5 million) to enhance climate resilience among 10 million small-scale food producers in developing countries. This is done through the Enhanced Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP+), led by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The Minister of International Development stressed that the programme’s focus is on improving adaptive capacity, reducing poverty and empowering women and youth. The initiative aligns with Norway's strategy to boost global food security and combat climate challenges in agriculture. The commitment was announced during COP27 and formalized through an agreement signed on 9 November, 2022.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate published the Official Norwegian Climate Change Adaptation: ‘Climate change - together for a climate resilient society’ document (2023). The document states that climate change has consequences for Norway’s natural environment and society . It therefore addresses challenges such as increased temperature and precipitation, the risks of different types of flooding and rising sea levels associated with climate change, as well as transboundary climate risks. The document also mentions the introduction of the government’s improved management system to make sure that climate change risks and the need for adaptation are considered in all sectors and that the country has the requisite resilience to face these. The document includes measures for civil protection and security, agriculture and food production, infrastructure and foreign policy. The need to constantly review the country’s vulnerability to climate change and to expand the knowledge base on the consequences of climate change is also highlighted. The document also stresses the importance of involving the Sami community in relevant processes related to climate change adaptation and to include Indigenous knowledge in adaptation efforts.

Education and communication

The objectives clause of Norway’s Education Act was amended in 2008. The clause states that students must learn to think and act with environmental awareness. The core curriculum outlines the core values in the objectives clause and the overarching principles for primary and secondary education. The core curriculum states that respect for nature and environmental awareness are core values of education and training. To this end, schools must be committed to help students learn to respect and appreciate nature so they can enjoy it and at the same time develop climate and environmental awareness. Schools are also obliged to help develop a willingness to protect the environment.

The Curriculum Agency is part of the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. The overall curriculum elaborates both the general educational principles and the value foundation noted in the purpose clause of the Education Act. Sustainable development is included as one of three interdisciplinary topics in the curriculum. It covers issues relating to the environment and climate, poverty and distribution of resources, conflicts, health, equality, demographics and education.

The Ministry of Education and Research published a Long-term plan for research and higher education 2015–2024 (2015). The plan outlines the government’s vision for how research and higher education can contribute to Norway’s transition towards a greener society and how the country can become a global leader in renewable energy.

An updated plan, the Long-term Plan for Research and Higher Education 2019-2028 (2018), was published by the Ministry of Education and Research. The long-term plan outlines objectives and priorities for the next 10 years, as well as more specific shorter-term objectives for the next four years. The plan is revised every four years to accommodate shifting political and social conditions. The plan states that universities and colleges should provide students with sufficient knowledge and skills for successful climate change adaptation, emphasising that: ‘[e]ducation, research and innovation that can promote the achievement of climate targets will be given priority moving forward.’ (p. 20)

The Strategy for climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and the fight against hunger (2021) sets the groundwork for increased efforts by Norway to assist vulnerable societies with climate change adaptation. The strategy identifies priority areas and tools for enhancing climate change adaptation, such as disaster risk reduction and the fight against hunger. The strategy aids climate-affected communities in adjusting to evolving conditions. It helps developing countries enhance their ability to manage climate shifts, mitigate disaster risks, and cope with climate-driven and natural emergencies. It also contributes to eradicating hunger, ensuring food security, enhancing nutrition and fostering sustainable food systems in agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries. This strategy is related to the Humanitarian Strategy of Norway.

Another updated version of the Long-term plan for research and higher education 2023–2032 was published by the Ministry of Education and Research in 2022. In this plan, the government mentioned that all policies must incorporate climate- and nature-related factors. It notes that innovation and development based on knowledge in the public sector are essential for protecting democracy, ensuring a sustainable welfare society and contributing to the green transition.

iv. Terminology used for Climate Change Education and Communication

‘Climate change education’, ‘Education for Sustainable Development’, ‘environmental awareness’, ‘nature, environment and technology’ and ‘public awareness’ are terms used in Norway’s Eighth National Communication (2023).

Norway's Eighth National Communication (2023) mentions thatSustainable development as an interdisciplinary topic in school shall help the pupils to understand basic dilemmas and developments in society, and how they can be dealt with.’ (p. 287)

 The Core Curriculum addresses sustainable development as one of the core values for education and training and noted that:

Sustainable development as an interdisciplinary topic in school shall help the pupils to understand basic dilemmas and developments in society, and how they can be dealt with. Sustainable development refers to protecting life on earth and providing for the needs of people who live here now without destroying the possibilities for future generations to fill their needs. (p. 16)

The term ‘environmental awareness’ is used in Norway’s Eighth National Communication (2023), which stated that ‘[s]chools shall help the pupils to develop an appreciation of nature so they can enjoy and respect nature and develop climate and environmental awareness.’ (p. 287)

Terms used in Norway’s Climate Action Plan for 2021–2030 (2021) include ‘zero- and low-emission’, ‘the green platform’, healthy, ‘sustainable and climate-friendly diet’, ‘short-lived climate forcers’, ‘climate natural’, ‘climate target’, ‘The European Green Deal’, ‘fossil-free construction sites’, ‘battery technology’ and ‘climate-friendly practices.’

The official report Adapting to a Changing Climate (2010) uses the term ‘climate coaches’. Several municipalities of Norway take part in a variety of cooperative initiatives, including municipalities for sustainable communities, green energy and cities of the future. These are informal forums for municipal collaboration. Future cities are planned based on the principle that some towns that have a significant amount of experience working with climate change will become ‘climate coaches’ or advisors to others.

The Long-term plan for research and higher education 2023–2032 mentions terms such as ‘low-emission society’, ‘green transition’, and ‘plastic pollution.’ It states that: ‘The term “plastic pollution” covers plastic waste of all sizes, all the way down to microplastics and nanoplastics that have ended up in the environment.’ (p. 27)

v. Budget for climate change education and communication

According to Norway's Climate Action Plan for 2021-2030 (2021), in 2020, the Norwegian Government allocated US $9.5 million (NOK 100 million) to the education and training system, with green transition as a priority focus. Norway allocates around 0.2% of its gross domestic product (GDP) to climate finance. The country has committed to increasing its annual climate funding fromUS $665 million (NOK 7 billion) in 2020 to US $1.3 billion(NOK 14 billion) by 2026 and also plans to at least triple its support for adaptation efforts within the same timeframe.

The Klimasats is a grant scheme established under the Norwegian Environment Agency in 2016 to help counties, municipalities and municipal enterprises cut greenhouse gas emissions and make the transition to a low-carbon society. Of the 2,035 projects under way through the Klimasats scheme, 48 are focused on education and attitudes, receiving a total funding of US $4.2 million (NOK 44.3 million).

Horizon Europe is the European Union’s key funding programme for research and innovation. According to Norway's Climate Action Plan for 2021-2030 (2021), the country has been awarded US $249 million (NOK 2.6 billion) of Horizon 2020 funding for programmes on climate, the environment and energy. Out of this total amount, 18% has been distributed to the university and university college sectors.

According to Norway’s Eighth National Communication (2023), Norway’s public spending on climate finance was US $734 million (NOK 6,459 million) in 2019 and US $706 million (NOK 6 646 million) in 2020. Most Norwegian climate finance is allocated for support, including bilateral payments and earmarked contributions made through international organizations. In 2019, the contributions amounted to US $582 million (NOK 5 122 million), and in 2020, US $489 million (NOK 4,607 million). The projected share of core support for multilateral organizations related to climate change (called ‘imputed multilateral core contributions’) was US $152 million (NOK 1 337 million) in 2019 and US $217 million (NOK 2,039 million) in 2020.

In 2021, the Research Council of Norway’s budget for climate research was US $82 million (NOK 876 million) as stated in Norway’s Eighth National Communication (2023). This included US $64.5 million (NOK 689 million) through the Research Council of Norway and US $187 million (NOK 2 billion) through the European Union. The Research Council of Norway’s energy and low-emissions portfolio was US $187 million (NOK 2 billion) in 2021, which included funding through both the council and the European Union.

The Long-term plan for research and higher education 2023–2032 (2022) notes that approximately US $187 million (NOK 1.8 billion) was allocated to research expansion, while US $131 million (NOK 1.4 billion) was allocated to overall education.

Norway’s Climate Action Plan for 2021–2030 states that since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Norwegian Government has been working towards the transition to a greener economy. In 2020, approximately NOK 4.5 billion (US $447 million) was allocated to a green restructuring package, which included funding for research, innovation and green restructuring in the business and local government sectors. The budget for 2021 includes a funding increase of approximately NOK 11 billion (US $1.1 billion) for the most critical climate and environmental priorities. Norway has designated NOK 10 billion (US $950 million) over five years for the Climate Investment Fund, supporting renewable energy projects in developing countries to cut emissions. Managed by Norfund, this targets coal-dependent nations and aligns with the Paris Agreement and SDGs.

  1. Climate change education and training in the country

i. Climate change in pre-primary, primary, and secondary education 

Norway’s Eighth National Communication (2023) reports that the educational system includes a focus on awareness-raising and education in topics relating to sustainable development and climate change. It also states that education at kindergarten level can have a significant impact on the promotion of values, attitudes and practices that contribute to the creation of sustainable communities. As such, the promotion of sustainable development in an appropriate way at kindergarten level should be prioritized. In line with this, the Kindergarten Act (2021) states that it is required for children to learn to take care of themselves, their peers and the environment.

The United Nations Earth Summit notes that environmental studies in kindergartens and elementary institutions is a required component of the curriculum. Environmental education aims to equip children and adolescents with the necessary knowledge, attitudes and abilities for them to contribute to sustainable development. Through action-oriented environmental education, it seeks to instil appropriate new behaviour patterns in children and adolescents.

According to the objectives clause of the Education Act (2008) as it pertains to primary and secondary education, it is mandated that students and apprentices develop critical thinking skills, act ethically and demonstrate environmental awareness.

Norway’s Eighth National Communication notes that the Core Curriculum (2019) includes the integration of sustainable development as an interdisciplinary subject in schools. It aims to provide students with an understanding of fundamental societal dilemmas and developments, as well as strategies for addressing them. The goal is for students to acquire the necessary skills to make informed decisions and behave in an ethical and environmentally conscious way, and to understand the significance of their actions and decisions. The Core Curriculum (2019) states that: Schools shall help the pupils to develop an appreciation of nature so they can enjoy and respect nature and develop climate and environmental awareness.’ (p. 9)

The United Nations Earth Summit notes that the prime minister praised ‘Inky Arms and his Eco-Detectives’, a conservation club for Norwegian children, as an effective model for encouraging young environmental advocates. Providing information and promoting awareness and practical action, the club fosters a sense of community and responsibility among its 10,000 members, aged between 5 and 13 years. Established in 1994, the conservation club prioritizes positive engagement and empowers children to make a positive difference to their surroundings.

The Norwegian education system emphasizes education that addresses climate and environmental challenges. While there is no separate subject dedicated to the topic, it is integrated into subjects such as geography, the natural sciences and social studies. For instance, in the competency goals document for geography in upper-secondary school, it is noted that students should learn about the consequences of climate change in nature and society. The competency goals document also states that students should be encouraged to reflect on their behaviour from a sustainability perspective. Similarly, in the teaching of natural sciences in lower-secondary school, students are expected to be able to explain and discuss the challenges involved in humans’ use of natural resources.

ii. Climate change in teacher training and teaching resources

According to the Regulations Relating to the Framework Plans for Primary and Lower Secondary Teacher Education for Years 1–7 and for Years 5–10 (2016), and the Regulations Relating to the Framework Plans for Sami Primary and Lower Secondary Teacher Education for Years 1–7 and for Years 5–10 (2016), it is expected that graduates can encourage their students to respect democratic participation and sustainable development.

The National Guidelines for Differentiated Teacher Education Programmes (2010) and the Guidelines for the Differentiated Sami Primary and Lower Secondary Teacher Education Programmes ( 2016) mention that. the education programme aims to prepare pre-service teachers to teach sustainable development as an interdisciplinary topic. The education programme also aims to provide research-based knowledge about the climate, environment and development, as well as the required competencies that support students’ learning about attitudes and actions for sustainable development.

According to the United Nations Earth Summit, the United Nations Association of Norway has been actively involved in educating teachers on global themes related to the environment and development for nearly five years. This has been done through its district offices, which have been conducting courses for teachers in upper-secondary and elementary schools. The courses cover specific issues such as Agenda 21, climate problems, the depletion of the ozone layer, declining biodiversity, pollution of the oceans, and the protection of tropical forests and sustainable forestry. The final part of the course covers re-use and sustainable consumerism, environmental ethics and how to solve environmental and development issues.

In 2019 the Oslo Education Agency and the Oslo Climate Agency launched the website Climate School. The purpose of the website is to make it easier for teachers to access high-quality and validated teaching materials to improve children’s and young people’s knowledge of the climate and the environment.

iii. Climate change in higher education

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences offers a number of relevant courses that focus on encouraging climate awareness in general and in specific areas such as agriculture and diet. These include courses on sustainability and adaptation, climate economics, advanced courses on greenhouse gases from agriculture, and climate calculators for plant and livestock production.

According to the Climate Action Plan for 2021–2030, more students choose ‘green’ programmes at Norwegian universities such as NMBU (the Norwegian University of Life Sciences), Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, and Nord University. The biggest increase in enrolments has been in forestry and plant science programmes, which are important for learning about climate change adaptation.

Norway’s Climate Action Plan for 2021–2030 states that the business community and Norwegian research institutes are collaborating to develop effective strategies for the shift to a low-emission society. The success of Norway’s green transition will depend on the workforce having a high level of appropriate skills, together with a focus on lifelong learning in schools, colleges and universities.

Environment, International Relations, the Arctic and Security (MINS) is a division of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Nord University and focuses on researching climate change and local adaptation. The university offers a bachelor’s degree programme in Nature Management, focusing on knowledge of the climate, as well as a Social Science Master’s programme that looks at arctic societies and climate change. A variety of courses include elements of the climate, such as Arctic climate and policy, Media and climate change - Public sphere and opinion making, and Vegetation, climate and geology.

Among all the programmes offered by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, only one Master’s programme has a climate-related title: Cold Climate Engineering. However, many degree programmes include content on climate change, adaptation, mitigation, sustainability or renewable energy. These include: climate change mitigation; design of roads and railways in a cold climate; climate, the environment and sustainable societies; environmental science; ecosystem services and sustainability; climate, culture and catastrophes; and environmental history in pre-industrial Europe. As a central location for accelerating ongoing, planned and new initiatives, the Centre for Green Shift in the Built Environment of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology aims to serve as a forum for networking and collaboration between academia and industry. The objective is to achieve a carbon-neutral built environment by 2050.

The Mære Agricultural School in Trøndelag County is a pilot project to explore innovative climate and energy solutions for agriculture. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is the host of the Mære Agricultural School and many of its doctoral candidates study and conduct research at the Research Centre on Zero Emission Neighbourhoods in Smart Cities (FME ZEN).

The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences offers a Master’s programme in Climate Change Management, focusing on solutions to achieve a sustainable transition and encourage greener behaviour.

The University of Oslo offers over 100 courses related to climate change, directly addressing climate mitigation and adaptation, as well as courses that intersect with law, education, policies, social science and natural science. Some programmes offered by the University of Oslo include two-year Master’s programmes in Development, Environment and Cultural Change and Geosciences; an honours certificate in Environmental Humanities and Sciences; and a doctorate at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Founded in 1990, the Center for International Climate Research (CICERO) is a leading Norwegian interdisciplinary research institute. It provides vital research and expertise to address climate challenges and enhance global cooperation. The centre excels in studying emissions’ effects, societal responses, international agreements and climate finance and it has actively participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). CICERO’s subsidiary, Shades of Green, specializes in climate risk services for the financial sector. It was sold to S&P Global in 2022.

The Norwegian Research Centre on Sustainable Climate Change Adaptation (Noradapt) is a recently established national institute for sustainable adaptation to climate change. It is administered by the Western Norway Research Institute and seven partner institutions. Researchers from eight research institutions work together to generate knowledge on how different actors in society can adapt to climate change.

UiT: The Arctic University of Norway offers a range of degree programmes relating to climate and the environment. Some programmes are offered in English and are open to foreign students who do not speak Norwegian, such as the Energy and Climate programme.

The University of Bergen has different degree programmes that include elements of climate change. For EU candidates, Master’s programmes such as Sustainability and Geographies of Sustainable Development include climate change content. For applicants from outside the EU and European Economic Area, Master’s programmes include climate change courses and topics in programmes such as Earth Science and Meteorology and Oceanography.

iv. Climate change in training and adult learning 

The Digital Agenda for Norway (2013) white paper outlines the government's policy on how Norwegian society should capitalize on the opportunities offered by ICT and the internet for value creation and innovation. The white paper notes that municipalities are responsible for providing primary and lower secondary education to eligible adults, in line with the Education Act (1998). Adults have the option of completing all their primary and lower secondary education requirements for a certificate or just studying selected subjects.

The goals of the Education Act (1998) and the guiding principles for elementary and secondary education and training are discussed in the Core curriculum (2019). The curriculum provides direction for subject-specific instruction, and each subject advances the main goal of elementary and secondary education and training. The overall curriculum, which highlights the interconnectedness of the different components and how they are to work together, serves as the basis for teaching and training. The Core curriculum is designed to provide teaching and training to students, apprentices, training candidates, practice candidates and adult learners.

The official report for Norway of the Ministry of Climate and Environment: Adapting to a changing climate (2010) notes that the National Emergency Planning College is a subordinate agency under the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning and that it serves as the central training institution for civil protection and emergency preparedness. Since 2008, the National Emergency Planning College has been providing courses to municipalities and counties on two topics: ‘Climate change adaptation in social planning’ and ‘Civil protection in land-use planning’.

The Directorate of Civil Protection and Emergency Preparedness notes that it is essential that existing training opportunities for climate change adaptation and civil protection continue and be expanded. Topics to be covered include: climate change adaptation in social planning, civil protection in land use planning, and training in emergency preparedness and rescue of own personnel. The official report for Norway, Adapting to a Changing Climate (2010), stressed that climate challenges must be incorporated into all training on risk and vulnerability analysis, and emergency preparedness planning at the local, regional and national levels. Climate-related scenarios must also be included in emergency preparedness training. It is further stated in the report that climate change adaptation is necessary to maintain future accessibility, navigability, and safety of road and railroad transit. It is also necessary to integrate new knowledge and experiences with ongoing initiatives, combine them into policies and procedures, and make them available to the authorities at all levels of administration. In addition, specialized skills in these areas must be preserved and developed.

In relation to the aviation industry, the Adapting to a Changing Climate (2010) report further states that a more variable climate will make aviation more complex. The report noted that, despite a changing climate, the industry must maintain standards of safety, punctuality and readiness, particularly in relation to drainage and runway friction. In addition, climate change will increase the need for the development of appropriate equipment, procedures and regulations.

The Adapting to a Changing Climate (2010) report also notes that for training in building and construction there needs to be more of a focus on climate change, energy and the environment in relation to building design. For example, a framework must be in place such that teachers in secondary and vocational schools and workers in the field have access to ongoing training. Another important area noted in the report is the development of courses and training programmes to establish expertise in climate change and its impact on Sami practices and activities.

The Adapting to a Changing Climate (2010) report notes that municipalities and counties currently receive training from the National Emergency Planning College. This training can also serve as a forum for the exchange of knowledge and cooperation between parties confronting comparable climate challenges. According to the report, providing courses and training at four centres would be a cost-effective solution is it each centre would cater for people from the surrounding regions. The college proposes instituting training for southern Norway, western Norway, central Norway, and northern Norway, as well as for Arctic areas, with an emphasis on Sami culture and society.

  1. Climate change communication in the country

i. Climate change and public awareness 

According to Norway's Climate Action Plan for 2021-2030 (2021), reducing food waste contributes to Norway’s 2030 climate target. Examples include Matvett, a government-supported initiative to raise awareness on reducing waste in the food industry; and Matgledekorpset, a project to promote food waste reduction among care providers in senior homes and municipal governments.

The official Norwegian report Adapting to a Changing Climate (2010) notes that Norway has a well-developed system of education and information for both the general public and the healthcare industry.

Regarding the transportation industry, the report also notes that there is a high level of awareness of climate-related conditions and a good level of readiness for weather-related events. In several areas of the transportation industry, climate change adaptation measures have already been implemented. According to the report, the National Transport Plan is the most significant strategy document produced by transportation agencies. Norway’s Eighth National Communication (2023) notes that the current National Transport Plan (2022-2033) outlines principles that aim to incorporate climate change and its impacts into planning and prioritization processes. Furthermore, as per the guidelines set by the Ministry of Transportation and Communication, the transport agencies have formulated strategies to enhance civil security in the transportation sector. These strategies include a focus on the need for the industry to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Norway's Climate Action Plan (2021) reported that local governments play a crucial role in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2016, the state has funded climate-related initiatives in municipalities and counties. The Klimasats grant programme contributes to emission reductions, raises awareness of potential measures, and boosts demand for climate-friendly products and services at these levels.

The government will encourage the incorporation of environmental and climate-related requirements in public procurement processes, as well as the application of nutritional standards stated in Norway's Climate Action Plan (2021). The objectives are to increase awareness among those responsible for procuring goods and services, to encourage the creation of healthier products, and to make healthy food more accessible to consumers.

Norway’s Eighth National Communication(2023) notes that the KLIMAFORSK, a large-scale programme for climate research, is the Research Council of Norway’s most important funding instrument for conducting extensive, high-quality climate research. The goal of the programme is to improve the quality of climate research and to increase knowledge and awareness of climate change, including its impacts and potential solutions.

Norway’s Eighth National Communication (2023) notes that the Generation Green initiative, which involved Climate Ambassadors, entailed a lecture tour on climate change that was conducted in Norwegian middle and upper-secondary schools. The objective of the project was to improve climate change education and increase public awareness. This was achieved by striking a balance between education and positive storytelling, which helped to establish and reinforce the significance of climate change as a crucial component of the curriculum.

ii. Climate change and public access to information 

The Norwegian Environment Agency provides the public with the latest information on the state and development of the environment, including climate change information, through the State of the Environment Norway website. Furthermore, the Norwegian Environment Agency has a climate-specific information portal ‘Klimatilpasning’. The portal helps Norwegian society prepare for the consequences of climate change. The website provides tools and information on climate change adaptation from various sectors, with local practitioners as its primary target audience. Municipalities and county municipalities can adhere to the central government's adaptation planning guidelines with the assistance of an online tool.

Through its online portal and under the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate provides information on efficient energy use, cost-effective energy systems, and the efficient energy market. This directorate is responsible for the management of Norway’s water and energy resources and for reducing the risks of flooding. It provides projections and information on different climate variables to municipalities, agencies, and research institutions.

The Sikt-Norwegian Agency for Shared Services in Education and Research carries out extensive data collection. The agency makes data accessible and reusable in accordance with laws and regulations. It assists in cataloguing research data and selecting appropriate access terms. It ensures that the data are accessible and protected.

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute is the national institution responsible for monitoring the atmosphere’s climate and for providing the public with information on how precipitation and temperature are expected to change. The institute conducts comprehensive research and provides data on the climate that can be used to make future projections on the climate. It also adheres to a policy of free and open data for the benefit of society, which allows anyone to freely access and use its content.

The Institute of Marine Research is affiliated with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. As a marine research institute, it is responsible for climate-related monitoring in the marine environment. The institute also conducts substantial research, monitors these activities, and offers recommendations for how climate change may affect marine ecology.

Norway’s Centre for Climate Services organizes and disseminates climate and hydrological data to be used in climate change adaptation and in research. The main contributors to the centre are the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, the Norwegian Environment Agency, and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research at the University of Bergen.

As a Europe-wide initiative, the European Commission hosts a European climate adaptation platform called CLIMATE-ADAPT. It enables users to access and share information on anticipated climate change in Europe, and on current and future vulnerabilities in different regions and sectors, as well as national and transnational adaptation strategies, adaptation case studies and potential adaptation options and adaptation planning tools. The platform provides relevant information and resources to European regional and local authorities so they can prepare climate-resilient plans, including local authorities in Norway.

The Ministry of Climate and Environment uses all available channels and information initiatives to disseminate relevant information to different target groups. The State of the Environment Norway website aims to provide the general public with up-to-date information on the status and progress of the environment in Norway outlined in Norway’s Eighth National Communication (2023). The development and management of the website has been assigned to the environmental authorities by the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

The Norwegian PRTR website provides information on chemical substances and pollutants discharged to air, water, and soil emanating from industrial activities in Norway, as well as the generation of waste. The data is searchable and can be displayed by industry sector, by facility, by chemical substance or by groups of substances.

iii. Climate change and public participation 

According to Norway’s Updated Nationally Determined Contribution (2022), levels of public participation in environmental issues, and climate change specifically, have been high. For example, public participation and engagement with local communities and Indigenous peoples was an important aspect of the planning process of the Nationally Determined Contribution. The Environmental Information Act, which implements the Aarhus Convention, establishes public participation in environmental decision-making processes. The Public Administration Act mandates public hearings for all legal proposals. As a result, the Climate Change Act was subject to a public hearing that included all interested parties.

As the scientific basis for the Norwegian government when preparing the Climate Action Plan (2021), the Mitigation Analysis for Norway 2021-2030 held an intensive public consultation. There was active participation from the stakeholders, generating 1730 responses including 51 from municipalities and counties, 190 from organizations and businesses, and 1489 from individual people.

When preparing the report on climate change adaptation, Climate change - together for a climate resilient society (2023), the Ministry of Climate and Environment organized two public consultation meetings with participants from public and private sector, the research sector, NGOs and other actors. The minutes from the various meetings have been documented and are available on the website of the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

  1. Monitoring and evaluation

i. Country monitoring 

Norway's Climate Action Plan for 2021-2030 (2021) outlined a monitoring and evaluation plan to assess whether Norway is on track to meet its climate target during the planning period. Following the Climate Change Act (2021), Norway must report annually to the Norwegian parliament (the Storting) on progress made in relation to achieving its 2030 target. These reports will indicate whether or not the planned course needs to be altered.

The Department for Evaluation is governed by a separate mandate for evaluating the Norwegian Development Aid Administration and related evaluation strategy and guidelines and directly reports to the Secretaries General of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute carries out the provision of weather forecasts, climate monitoring and scientific research. Since the institute was established in 1866, Norwegian meteorologists have played a prominent role in the development of the field. Today, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute is a leading centre of expertise internationally.

Statistics Norway is the primary producer of official national statistics. The organization is responsible for gathering, generating and communicating economic, population and social statistics at the national, regional and local levels. Statistics Norway is also engaged in extensive research analysis in various areas including nature and environment.

According to the Eight National Communication (2023), Norway does not have a formal monitoring and evaluation process in place for assessing the implementation of Article 6 of the UNFCCC’s Action for Climate Empowerment elements.

ii. MECCE Project Monitoring

The Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education (MECCE) Project looked for references to biodiversity, sustainable development, and environmental and climate change in Norway’s National Curriculum Framework(NCF)(2019).

The framework mentioned ‘biodiversity’ once, ‘sustainable development’ 7 times, and ‘environmental’ 5 times. The term ‘climate change’ is not mentioned.

This section will be updated as the MECCE Project develops.



This profile was reviewed by: 

Ane Hagen Kjørholt, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Climate and Environment, Norway

Birgitte Levy, Teacher Education, Ministry of Education and Research, Norway

Fredrik Vatne, Advisor, Ministry of Education and Research, Norway

Gard Lindseth, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Climate and Environment, Norway

Last modified:

Fri, 15/12/2023 - 11:50