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New maps help with climate considerations


Photo: Anette Tjomsland Spilling

How can we develop towns and cities in a way that takes the best possible care of nature, produces the least possible greenhouse gas emissions, preserves natural diversity, and improves the conditions for managing climate change? NIBIO has developed maps that will help Oslo, Drammen and Tønsberg with just this.

The maps will make it easier for the municipalities to assess greenhouse gas emissions through changed land use, as well as how best to adapt to climate change and take care of species diversity. For example, green areas and vegetation are important for taking up rain and for helping cool towns and cities on warm days. 

“The thematic maps provide information on where you should preserve nature or change land use practices in order to avoid large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions from land use and land use change,” explains Head of Project and Senior Adviser at NIBIO, Henrik Forsberg Mathiesen.

The feedback from the municipalities has been very positive. The municipalities of Tønsberg and Drammen have recently started using the maps when assessing plans and applications for developing and redeveloping areas for residential or commercial activities.

“We didn’t have any methods for ranking greenhouse emissions before. This gives us some indication whether there will be more or less emissions as a result of an intervention involving nature during land degradation,” says Kristine Molkersrød, Climate Adviser at Tønsberg municipality.

New national regulations instruct all municipalities to survey ecosystems and land use that are important for climate adaptation, and to consider climate emissions reduction and climate adaptation in local area planning processes. More municipalities have contacted NIBIO to have similar maps developed for their municipality.

During the Zero Conference in November 2022, Tønsberg and Drammen municipalities achieved second place in the “Local climate measure of the year” award for their work involving the new climate maps.