Speech/statement | Date: 10/08/2020 | Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries
By Minister of Trade and Industry Iselin Nybø (The PROSIN conference 2020)
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Dear distinguished guests.
2020 has turned out to be very different than anyone could have imagined.
The corona crisis hit us and demanded immediate action.
Even though the corona crisis has changed a lot, the need for a green shift is just as urgent as it was before.
Norwegian industry, which you are all an important part of, is known to have a great ability to adapt to changing conditions.
This is a major strength for us now.
To tackle the economic consequences of the corona crisis, the Norwegian government has launched several crisis packages.
During the early stages of the crisis, it was necessary to take action to prevent bankruptcies and prevent people from losing their jobs.
Then we moved on to the next stages, which involve creating new and greener economic growth.
To accomplish that, we are supporting ideas, research and businesses which contribute to developing climate friendly solutions and technology.
And thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The green crisis packages are mainly aimed at private businesses.
That includes green shipping, hydrogen, battery technology and circular economy.
To make progress towards a greener industry, and lower greenhouse gas emissions, both the private and the public sector have to work together.
We have to take advantage of the experience and expertise that Norwegian businesses already possess.
And, at the same time allow new ideas, businesses and industries to develop.
The Norwegian Government are taking a number of measures to help the industry take advantage of the possibilities that the green shift represents.
That includes financial support for research and development and facilitating collaboration through Prosess21 and other forums, to name a few.
The Norwegian maritime industry is already at the forefront of developing new technology and adopting new, environmentally-friendly solutions.
One of those solutions is battery technology.
The use of batteries plays a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Norway is an established world leader when it comes to green shipping.
Electric cars are everywhere to be seen, on the Nordic roads.
But the potential is far greater. Batteries can be used in a number of sectors.
For instance to electrify construction machinery in the forestry sector, and in the long run also in the aviation industry.
Batteries represent an exciting business opportunity.
One of the topics you are discussing at the PROSIN-conference is how the Nordic countries can work together and contribute to further development of the European battery industry.
Norway is committed to contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Battery production is very energy-intensive, and easy access to affordable, renewable energy is crucial.
In Norway, 98 per cent of all electricity comes from renewable sources.
More than one hundred years ago, Sam Eyde took advantage of this and created an industrial adventure which has generated enormous value for Norway.
Today, as we move forward in the green transition, the access to electricity from renewable sources gives us a competitive edge when it comes to creating new and green industrial adventures.
Another benefit when it comes to battery production, is that Norway also is home to primary producers of many raw materials used in batteries.
By making the most of these unique strengths, we can contribute to making the battery industry even greener.
In line with the EU Green Deal, the aspiration is that batteries, and their components, will be reused or recycled indefinitely.
And thereby securing that critical raw materials remain in Europe, enabling a more circular economy.
Off course, this mindset does not just apply to the battery industry.
As we strive for a more sustainable world, we have to make it easier for all businesses to reuse the resources they have available.
Therefore the Norwegian Government is working on a strategy for circular economy, to realise more of this potential.
Climate change, and our commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is critically important for all of us.
The corona crisis is still ongoing and demands action and resources.
At the same time we have to keep up the pace of the green shift.
Many challenges lie ahead.
But the green shift represents not only challenges.
Also great business opportunities are emerging.
Demand for low- and zero-emission technology and products is expected to increase.
The businesses that embrace this development can gain a competitive advantage in the green shift.
By joining forces, as you are today, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create new, greener jobs.