© Photo by Ingrid Martinussen on Unsplash

Interview with Guri Storaas, EGBCM Chair

Guri Storaas is Deputy Director General at the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment and Chair of the Arctic Council’s Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane (EGBCM). In this interview she tells us about her background and what inspires her about EGBCM's work, as well as provides us with an outlook on what the Expert Group is currently working on.

What is your background, and how do you feel it has prepared you for your role as EGBCM Chair?

I have worked in the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment since 2013, and have had the role as Deputy Director General in the Climate Department since 2022. I have had the privilege to be part of the Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane (EGBCM) since 2016. Knowing the group well is of course beneficial. But I also think other tasks I’ve had within the Ministry, for instance working bilaterally with China and India and being part of the negotiations for the Sustainable Development Goals, has helped prepare me for this role in the Expert Group.

© Guri Storaas

Can you share a memorable Arctic experience with us?

I grew up in a tiny village in Eastern Norway, surrounded by large forests. It is below the Arctic Circle, but winter temperatures were often far below -20 degrees. My parents had two German wirehaired pointers. I often made the dogs pull me while I was skiing, and always felt like an Arctic winter Viking.

What inspires you about EGBCM’s work?

Black carbon is not regulated internationally. The Arctic Council set the first regional collective aspirational black carbon target back in 2017. Knowing that the climate effects of black carbon are stronger the closer to the Arctic areas it is emitted, a regional target makes real sense. I am eager to move this work further, and happy to see that the Arctic States continue putting emphasis on this.

How do you feel EGBCM's work aligns with Norway's overarching priorities?

Climate and environment is one of four priority topics for Norway’s chairship of the Arctic Council. The focus is particularly on short-lived climate forcers such as black carbon and methane, and the work of the EGBCM is an important part of this.

Could you provide us with an outlook on what EGBCM will work on during the next two years?

The EGBCM will report on status of the collective aspirational black carbon goal, and on the efforts to significantly reduce methane. We are also planning to make recommendations on how the Arctic States and Observers can continue the efforts to reduce BC and methane, including considering a new collective black carbon target.