Norway is starting to get on my nerves. The list of things its good at is getting too long.
I wouldnt mind so much if the list was contained to Nordic things, such as ski jumping, cross-country skiing, and eating the most lingonberries per capita.
But, no, the things Norway is good at world-topping even are both significant and universal.
A few examples:
How about the most sovereign wealth per capita? Sure, Norway has oil, but so do a lot of other countries, including Canada. By the end of 2020, Norway officials expect its Government Pension Fund Global to be worth the equivalent of $1.1 trillion US in todays money.
How about the worlds best school system? This is obviously a subjective rating, but many experts make a case that Norways school system, based on the mantra, One School for All, is the best in the world.
It consistently ranks very high in every educational metric, and dovetails perfectly with the countrys vision of providing employment and a place for everyone. Norwegians are expected to master the art of living together. Maybe a bit left-leaning for some North Americans, but it works for them.
And how about the Syltelabb? This delicacy, a holiday favourite of the Norwegians, is to die for, especially if you have a thing, like they and I do, for boiled, salt-cured pigs trotters.
Norway is also the top-ranking country in the World Economic Forums Global Energy Architectural Performance Index, which purports to measure how countries manage energy, through the metrics of economic growth, sustainability, and access. Norway does several things well in this regard, but one way it probably leads the world is in burning garbage in a profitable and clean way. This was a headline in the U.K.s Guardian newspaper earlier this year: Trash to cash: Norway leads the way in turning waste into energy.
The article explains that U.K. cities are paying to send rubbish to Norway, and Norway is importing as much rubbish as it can get, in an effort to generate more energy by burning waste in its vast and efficient incinerators.
And now, Ive just learned that Norway leads the world when it comes to electric vehicle adoption. Norway, that oil-rich, cold-climate nation, has more EVs per capita than any other country.
Roughly one in six cars sold in Norway is an EV, a very healthy 16 per cent share. By my reckoning, about one in 250 cars sold in Canada during 2013 was an EV, for a 0.004-per-cent share. (The share gets even more molecular when you lump in the 978,000 crossovers, SUVs and light trucks sold in 2013, many of which are used like cars.)
Norway created a way for EVs to flourish, through high tax incentives and a comprehensive and publicly funded charging infrastructure.
We dont seem to have the same appetite to invest in EV adoption and infrastructure in Canada.
But with Norways track record of success in everything from making succulent dishes with pigs feet to making the best of anything energy-related, you wonder if maybe we should be following its EV lead more closely.
Were different countries with different characteristics, but there is no denying that Norway has the upper hand right now.
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12 December 2017