Chapter 7: The Norwegian sustainability paradox: leader abroad, laggard at home
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Several factors make Norway well placed to develop an advanced eco-social policy agenda. It is a small and affluent country with a coordinated market economy and a comprehensive welfare state. However, the Norwegian economy and welfare state are supported by huge revenues from carbon-intensive oil and gas extraction and exports. Due to a high share of renewables in the existing energy mix, it is costly to cut emissions at home. These facts represent potential obstacles to eco-social policy developments. Against this background, the chapter assesses where Norway stands in the development of a sustainable welfare state. A main finding is that cross-sectoral coordination to implement Agenda 2030 has been weak. Moreover, the political will to take issue with oil and gas production combined with the aspiration of economic growth to maintain the welfare state is at best uneven among the main actors in Norwegian politics.