Speech/statement | Date: 2013-11-19 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
"In concluding, let me emphasis my Government’s commitment to reinforce our participation in developing a European framework for climate and energy policies up to and beyond 2020", said Vidar Helgesen in the debate at the EEA council's meeting.
«A 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy Policies»
- Welcome the opportunity to address the ongoing process of preparing a 2030 framework for climate and energy policies in the EU. Indeed the right moment for a having a strategic debate on how these policies should be formulated and implemented in order to reach long term goals.
- We are in the midst of a global “energy revolution”, driven forward by (inter alia) increasing demand for energy, active search for new resources, environmental and climate concerns and technological developments.
- The IPCC has recently reminded us of the urgency of moving forward on the climate issue and as we speak, environmental Ministers are gathered in Warsaw to continue the preparation of an international climate agreement by 2015. Global challenges need a global response. However, our credibility vis-à-vis the rest of the world depends on the efforts we make on a European and national level.
- The EU is a driving force in these developments. The targets set for 2020 and the policy instruments adopted to reach them, have paved the way for considerable cuts in GHG emissions, the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency gains. Additional policy changes in several countries, such as Germany with its “Energiewende” underlines the magnitude of the ongoing transformation.
- Norway is a major energy supplier to the EU and part of the internal energy market under the EEA agreement. As such, we will work closely with the EU on the preparations and implementation of a 2030 framework for climate and energy policies in Europe.
- The “Green Paper” presented in March draws up the key issues to be addressed in establishing a 2030 framework, such as the choice of targets and instruments, competitiveness and security of supply. The outcome of the ongoing discussion will be of great importance for the further developments in Europe and most probably also seen as a bench mark in the world.
- We have noted that many EU member states have still to present their views on the key issues. Likewise, the new Norwegian Government has not yet elaborated in detail the comments and input we wish to present on a 2030 framework. However, allow me some preliminary remarks:
- The objective must be to ensure the right long term incentives for a cost efficient development in line with the two degree target towards 2050 and beyond. We need a strong and ambitious framework in Europe that provides significant emissions reductions.
- Climate and energy policies up towards 2030 should stimulate R & D institutions, industry and businesses to make ample use of the opportunities embedded in the transformation to a low carbon society.
- In our opinion, it will be important to achieve an effective and coherent structure for the target or targets chosen, and the accompanying instruments. To ensure the legitimacy of ambitious climate end energy policies, room for national policy adaptation to local challenges and priorities should be safeguarded. Norway has a particular energy situation compared to our European partners.
- We share the Commission’s concern that the current low prices in the EU ETS does not give the needed incentives for a timely and efficient transition towards a low-carbon future.
- To achieve reductions in line with the Low Carbon Economy Roadmap for 2050, the pace of investment in low carbon technologies in Europe must increase. Many hurdles in the current energy and climate policies in Europe could be overcome by a more ambitious cap in the emission trading system.
- In parallel all efforts must continue to establish an international price on CO2 and efficient carbon markets. This is of key importance to Europe’s competitiveness.
- Lately we have experienced an increased use of coal in Europe, partly replacing gas. As pointed out by the Commission, gas is the cleanest of fossil energy sources and could play an important role in the energy transformation under way.
- For us, being a reliable and long term supplier of gas, it is essential that the EU’s energy policy is clear, consistent and predictable. This is crucial in order to ensure the necessary future investments in the gas sector.
- Norway supports the further development of renewable energy in Europe. We have committed ourselves to a share of renewable energy of 67,5 % in 2020. Together we will have to continue the development of improved technology, better functioning electricity markets and more efficient distribution.
- The increased share of renewables also poses challenges to existing power systems and the security of supply. We believe Norwegian hydropower and natural gas supplies are well suited to complement some of the additional intermittent energy production being developed in Europe.
- The experiences made in establishing the Nordic electricity market as well as new interconnectors being planned between several European countries, show the potential in closer cooperation within the European internal energy market.
- In concluding, let me emphasis my Government’s commitment to reinforce our participation in developing a European framework for climate and energy policies up to and beyond 2020.