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This European Country Will Make All Short-Haul Flights Completely Electric By 2040

Norway — what did we do to deserve you?

Already, the scandinavian country has more electric cars than anywhere else in the world — indeed, electric and hybrid cars accounted for over half of all new registered vehicles in 2017.

But they’ve just leveled up, hitting new heights in the global race for green energy.

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Norway is now aiming for all short-haul flights to be completely electric powered by 2040.

It will be the first country in the world to make the transition, according to Dag Falk-Petersen, chief executive of Avinor, the state-owned operator of Norwegian airports.

“We think that all flights lasting up to 1.5 hours can be flown by aircraft that are entirely electric,” Falk-Petersen said, which will cover all domestic flights and some to neighbouring countries too. “When we will have reached our goal, air travel will no longer be a problem for the climate — it will be a solution.”

The state-led move away from fossil fuels sets a huge benchmark of progress in the fight against climate change. Beyond that, electric planes will help halve noise pollution, as well as the operating costs of the aircrafts. However, Falk-Petersen said that biofuels and hybrid solutions would be an important intermediary until the a total overhaul could be achieved.

But it’s not all plane-sailing (sorry). Norway may very well be a world leader in electric cars by market share, but it’s also the largest producer of oil and gas in Western Europe, according to the Guardian.

Read More: Norway Just Proved That a Future With 100% Renewable Energy Cars Is Possible

However, time’s are a-changing: the Norwegian Central Bank, which runs the country’s trillion-dollar wealth fund, plans to dump investments in the world’s biggest oil corporations like BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and ExxonMobil to make the fund “less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil and gas prices”.

The wealth fund, officially known as the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), has been built from two decades worth of energy revenue.

It’s a busy news time in Norway. On Thursday alone they made headlines for suspending arms sales to the United Arab Emirates, becoming the first nordic country to completely ban fur farming, and for planning on following Portugal in decriminalising drugs to reduce overall harm.

Meanwhile, in recent months, Oslo, its capital, has subsidised the cost of electric bikes for all its residents. Norway has already done away with landfills, and now the whole country is trying to reduce its carbon emissions to zero through something called a “carbon capture system”. Even its far-right fail at being racist — mistaking a photo of seats on a bus for several Muslim women wearing burkas.

Norway is reaching for the skies, and on all sorts of other issues, a star or two is reaching back.

Rihanna tweeted Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on January 17 to raise the issue of girl’s education, an area that Global Citizen campaigns on. There are 130 million girls around the world who should be in school, but are not — and the pop star urged Solberg to commit to funding the fight to change this through the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

It’s just in time for the replenishment for GPE, to be held in Senegal in February — which gives countries the chance to pledge funding to continue the fight to get every child around the world in school.

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.13 for climate action. Take action with us here.