Norway is ready to cut its carbon dioxide emissions further if this would help clinch a deal at a UN climate summit in December, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was quoted as saying on Monday.
"If it contributes to a better climate deal in December, we would be ready to consider an increase of our (emissions) reductions from 30 to 40 per cent" by 2020 from 1990 levels, he told the daily Dagbladet.
Neither Stoltenberg nor the environment ministry was immediately available for further comment on Monday.
Norway's previously announced objective is to reduce emissions by 30 per cent by 2020 and to be carbon neutral by 2030.
Since it is nearly impossible to eliminate all CO2 emissions, being carbon neutral means that the country can offset its emissions by investing in Kyoto Protocol-style projects that reduce pollution elsewhere.
Last year, Norwegian emissions fell by 2.2 per cent from 2007 as a result of the economic crisis. But at 53.8 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, they remain above the level of 50 million tonnes outlined in the Kyoto Protocol for Norway.
According to climate experts, industrial countries should reduce their emissions by 25 to 40 per cent by 2020 from 1990 levels to restrict global warming to two degrees Celsius compared to the end of the 18th century.