The City's emissions can be attributed to three sources: waste and sewage treatment, buildings, and transport. Making significant cuts to emissions related to transportation would mean fundamentally changing Oslo's culture of driving which poses a challenge, though they have made impressive headway already. The Climate and Energy Strategy project has successfully avoided having any major institutional challenges by working proactively to address concerns from City departments or the public and maintain an open line of communication.
The Climate and Energy Strategy outlines precise climate budgets which distribute the responsibility for reduction targets across the City Government and accounts for every unit of CO2 emitted by the City. This climate budgeting model is innovative and integrates climate budgets into the greater Financial Budget – Oslo pledges to count carbon dioxide the same way they count money. In making all City departments responsible for reaching individualised annual goals, the initiative builds climate action into new business-as-usual practices and makes sustainability a baseline expectation.
Distributing responsibility across departments encourages a culture of participatory sustainability and demonstrates how climate action can be integrated into any kind of work. Oslo has also established a Climate Agency responsible for keeping track of reduction strategies and imposing a system of accountability. The strategy takes an incremental approach which ensures a clear pathway toward long-term goals and makes even the most ambitious goals –– like a 33% reduction in all car traffic by 2030 –– seem more feasible. The City has already made impressive strides toward its goals with a 16% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2013 to 2015.