The Norwegian Statement at the Stockholm +50 Conference

Held by the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment at the Stockholm + 50 conference. 2nd of May 2022.

Stockholm +50
- The real value of meetings like these lies not in the eloquence of our words, but in the measureable impact of our deeds. Credit: Martin Lerberg Fossum

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Let me also start by saluting the governments of Sweden and Kenya and the United Nations for bringing us together.

I think it is a very good idea to reflect on the last 50 years, both on what we have learned, what we have achieved, and, of course, what we did not achieve and what we yet have to do.

Because, ladies and gentlemen, we know that we are living at the watershed moment.

We have only very few years to really turn the tide.

If we don’t do something seriously with the direction of travel both on emissions and on biodiversity loss by mid-decade, we are in serious, deep trouble.

Time is up for incremental change for small adaptation. What we now need to do is systemic, strategic, transformational change of practically everything.

All aspects of our lives, of industry, of transport, of agriculture, of how we build our houses, how we produce our things.

It is possible, it is called deep decarbonisation, but it has to start right now, and we have to do it, all of us, at home and together.

We also need to think about having a just transition.

If the transition is not just, there will just be no transition.

(And) that does not mean that we should slow down the transition. Quite on the contrary, we need to make it a faster transition.

It just means we have to think about distributional aspects of change. Because change creates winners and losers, and we need to deal with that.

(And) just transition is not just about justice today, it is also justice towards the future, towards the young generation, towards those coming after us.

We have to prepare a world in which it is possible to make the choices they want to make.

The time to act is now, on biodiversity loss, on putting real value to our natural economy, to take much better care of our forests, our peatlands, our oceans, the mother of all ecosystems.

(And) really to follow up on the major achievemnts from UNEA, where we all gathered only three months ago, on the plastics treaty and all the other achievements.

These are words, they need to be transformed into action.

(Because) after all, friends, the real value of meetings like these lies not in the eloquence of our words, but in the measureable impact of our deeds.

(And) if the difference between our deeds and our words is too strong, I am afraid that young people will lose the faith both in democratic systems and in multilateral assemblies like these.

(So) we really need to speak, but also do.

(And) we really need to make sure that we put our money where our mouth is, and that we actually deliver on every single one of those promisees that we will be making these very days.

Thank you for the attention.