Address at business seminar in London
Speech/statement | Date: 01/03/2023 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
By Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt (London, 1 March)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms Anniken Huitfeldt's address at a British Norwegian business seminar in London. (Huitfeldt's address was held on behalf of Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland.)
Your Royal Highness,
Ladies and gentlemen,
As you can see, I am not Mr Terje Aasland. But these days, energy has become a central part also of my portfolio; foreign policy.
We are in a time where war and energy are consuming a lot of our attention At the same time, we should not lose sight of the most fundamental long-term challenges we face:
Achieving net zero emissions by 2050, while securing enough energy for a growing population.
Navigating this double challenge is at the core of the energy transition.
In such challenging times, my sincere hope for this delegation visit is to address cooperation, across borders and between energy partners.
We share challenges; however, we also share opportunities.
In the short term, renewables are important to mitigate the effects of the high electricity prices.
In the longer run, we must facilitate for increased renewable production, strengthening the power grid and enhance energy efficiency.
Because we know demand for renewable power will rise, and we know it is essential to reduce emissions.
Still, we know oil and gas will continue to play an important role in the energy mix for many years to come. And we know the crucial role it plays in Europe today.
The companies on the Norwegian Continental Shelf are producing near maximum capacity every day. Their efforts have led to a 10 per cent increase in last year’s production of natural gas provided to the European market.
In recent years, Norway has supplied up to a quarter of the combined gas demand in the EU and the UK. That share is also rising.
We will continue to ensure decreasing emissions from our petroleum production.
And not to forget, offshore competence and know-how from the oil and gas sector will contribute on the pathway to net zero.
The industries, businesses, and people along the Norwegian coast embody this know-how and competence.
Some call them offshore suppliers. I choose to call them solution suppliers.
They improve efficiency and reduce emissions.
They provide energy for Europe at a time of urgent need.
And, they find new opportunities.
Whether it is carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, seabed minerals, or offshore wind.
Our job as politicians is to facilitate for these solutions, in a responsible and sustainable way, as we find our way to contribute to the energy transition.
And in that respect, I am pleased to see those solution suppliers in our delegation today.
Because, Norway will stand with Britain and its partners in solving some of the greatest challenges of our generation, both by contributing to a reliable and affordable energy supply and by helping to reduce emissions.
To find the opportunities and solutions in the challenges.