Speeches and statements

Northern Lights Gathering

Minister of Petroleum and Energy Marte Mjøs Persen held this speech at the digital Northern Lights gathering on 16th December 2021.

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Good morning,

I was very much looking forward meeting you all in person at the Northern Lights Gathering - and to acknowledge the important role you all have.

Though we meet behind screens today, I still hope I am able to convey this message.

Because, despite living in the grasp of the pandemic, I consider climate change and the energy transition as the challenges of our lifetime.

Last month, I had the pleasure to visit the Northern Lights facility at Øygarden.

What I already knew, and which certainly became even clearer there, is that CCS is a crucial part of the solution to the climate challenge.

And, that Norway can offer an open access storage solution that is built on the knowledge and experience we have developed on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

CCS can also make an important contribution to the development of new and green industries, such as carbon neutral cement production and hydrogen.

The government is committed to following up the Longship-project and invest in CCS to cut emissions and create jobs.

And to develop a robust value-chain for carbon capture and storage, and a storage facility in the North Sea.

However, as we all know, if CCS is to become an efficient instrument in reducing emissions, the Norwegian CCS project must be a catalyst for other European projects and for international technology development.

It must be the first of many, rather than the last of a few.

In that respect, I am very pleased to see the developments in the EU when it comes to CCS.

Where the EU Commission has launched a CCUS Forum, expressing strong support for carbon capture, use and storage.

And not least, the EU Innovation Fund providing substantial financial support to several CCS projects in Europe. Projects which are potential partners for Northern Lights.

Dear friends,

Governments, policies, international cooperation and funding matter.

However, our most important asset is you. The competent people driving this project forward, the progress you are making and the growing attention your work is getting beyond our borders.

And, as any other groundbreaking project you will likely experience challenges and setbacks.

Then I urge you to keep your eyes on the target, and I will ensure that the Norwegian government will do the same – making CCS a viable and cost-efficient measure to reduce emissions.

To use your own words: Northern Lights is a first – and you want to make it easy for others to follow.

I wish you a great meeting today.

And I look forward meeting you soon.