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Norway halves CO2 emissions from asphalt production ince 2020

14/05/2024, 07:20
Norway halves CO2 emissions from asphalt production ince 2020
Photo: Knut Opeide, Statens vegvesen
Hilde Wexels Riser Hilde Wexels Riser
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In 2020, CO2 emissions from asphalt laid on Norwegian national roads amounted to 62 kilos per ton. By 2023, emissions had dropped to 44 kilos, with this year’s forecast indicating just 33 kilos of CO2 per ton of asphalt.

This represents a 47% reduction in four years – nearly halving emissions.

Competition for Low Emissions

The emissions cuts have been achieved by replacing some oil-based raw materials with bio-based binders, switching from diesel and fuel oil to biofuels and pellet firing at asphalt plants, increased recycling of old asphalt, and optimized transportation.

The transition results from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration introducing a system that factors in climate impact. Asphalt suppliers must now compete on low CO2 emissions in addition to low pricing to win contracts.

Continuous Emission Reductions

“Asphalt has been a major source of CO2 emissions in road operations. Through targeted efforts and excellent cooperation with the industry, we have achieved results contributing to the green transition,” said Ingrid Dahl Hovland, Director of the Public Roads Administration.

The roads agency continues working to further reduce asphalt’s carbon footprint, targeting a 70% cut in emissions by 2030 compared to 2020 levels.

In addition to incentivizing contractors that lower emissions, stricter requirements will be imposed on asphalt properties to ensure longer service life.

Norway’s comprehensive approach showcases how public policy combined with industry innovation can rapidly decarbonize emissions-intensive sectors like road construction.