The Green Party of Norway or the ‘Miljøpartiet De Grønne’ (MDG) has published an alternative budget for 2022. While the MDG is currently not holding power in Norway’s ruling coalition they have created an example of what the economy could look like called ‘The Good, Green Life’. Their hope is that this budget may provide examples of what the ruling coalition could do better to help the environment. Here are some of the main points:
Monetary Reward for Green Choices
Give a check of 4,000 kroner ($561 CAD) to each person, so a 5 person household would receive 20,000 NOK ($2,805 CAD). Once this is in place they will hike prices for climate threatening activities like driving fossil fuel cars or flying regionally around the country. This climate reward check would be financed by the taxes on these activities.
The check would also be higher for rural families who may need to use their car more often. This reward scheme would come with a plan to make public transport 20% cheaper and create more bike paths. In addition, they would make fruits and vegetables cheaper and increase the price of meat whose consumption creates more emissions for the planet.
Greener Job Promotion
Spend more money on green energy investments such as off-shore wind, solar power, carbon capture and storage, and increasing recycling and reusing facilities. These investments would go hand in hand with raising the tax on oil to 43 NOK per barrel. Thus, incentivizing green energy and taxing harmful fossil fuels.
New Rules for Parents
New parents of young children will be eligible for four weeks of increased parental leave. Additionally, fathers will be allowed to draw on parental benefits, regardless of if the mother has been at work or not.
Mental Health Investments
Mental health services will also be bolstered with a focus on prevention and early intervention. The MDG wish to establish 24 hour clinics and increase psychological services for all students.
Changing the Urban Landscape
Finally, the MDG wish to make urban areas more green. This entails creating more local hiking paths, car-free areas, and more parks. Furthermore, they want to increase access of government issued sports and leisure equipment to lend to all people.