How can Europe and Norway cooperate to scale up the CCS market?

Minister of Petroleum and Energy held this keynote speech at the Northern Lights Summit in Brussels on 23th June 2022.

Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland in Brussels
Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland spoke at the Northern Lights Summit on 23th June 2022 in Brussels. Foto: Arvid Samland / Ministry of Petroleum and Energy

Checked against delivery. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

In a time with international tensions, unstable energy markets and the threat of climate change, I am glad we are here for this important summit.

Authorities, business and industry, and NGOs.

To celebrate international cooperation, to find solutions to the energy transition and new sustainable ways to speed up future growth.

CCS - carbon capture and storage - is exactly such a measure. It brings us together - for sustainable solutions, and new jobs and industries.

In that respect, it is a great pleasure to address you here in Brussels.

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.

We hope that the CCUS Forum will become an operational forum, driving the CCS development forward.

The EU Innovation Fund provides substantial financial support to several CCS projects in Europe.

We also welcome the regulatory amendments that enable the development and deployment of CCS.

We see increasing interest and several concrete project plans for CCS in many EU countries. This implies a stronger push for CCS in Europe.

The Norwegian government is glad to see such a momentum on CCS in Europe. A development we fully support.

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

We are therefore delighted to see such great interest in Northern Lights.

Northern Lights’ open-access storage infrastructure offers companies across Europe an opportunity to store their CO2 safely and permanently underground.

You are a leader in CO2 storage solutions in Europe and an important player in building a market for CCS in Europe. And not least, Northern Lights has taken us a long way in CCS development and deployment.

Longship is being built and will start capturing and permanently storing CO2 from the second half of 2024.

This spring, the carbon capture project at the waste incineration plant Klemetsrud in Oslo, Celsio, has received financing from three, new commercial actors.

This is a positive sign regarding a growing commercial interest for CCS.

But, we cannot stop here. For the times ahead, a number of issues must be addressed.

First, how to ensure more storage area, so capture projects can make investment decisions.

As you know, the Norwegian continental shelf is well suited for CO2 storage.

And, with knowledge and experience from over 25 years of CO2 storage, I am confident that Norway can provide attractive storage areas to industrial customers.

Turning our CCS expertise and our capacity for large-scale offshore storage into a new industry.

Second, we need to enable cross-border transport of CO2 for storage. Then we need bilateral agreements, as required by the London protocol. This topic is very high on our agenda. And we are now ready to enter into bilateral negotiations with other states.

An important task at hand is therefore to encourage countries to ratify the 2009-amendment of the London protocol.

We are now discussing these issues with countries in the EU.

We are carefully considering which topics such bilateral agreements should entail, based on existing international law and EU regulatory framework.

Sharing of infrastructure for CO2 transport and storage will save time and money in the transition towards a climate neutral industrial sector in Europe.

Finally, we need to ensure that we that we have financial support mechanisms in place to help scale-up the market for CCS in Europe.

While we all want and need CCS to become a profitable and cost-efficient climate technology, costs are still high. We need both public funding mechanisms and other funding sources. 


We all know, yet it must be repeated:

CCS is a crucial part of the solution to the climate challenge.

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

Even if Norway is a first-mover in large-scale CCS in Europe, we need many industrial countries to follow.

This is needed if CCS is to reach the economies of scale necessary to bring down costs and develop technology.

Northern Lights is paving the way for other projects to come.

By providing learning opportunities for the next projects, by creating new industrial and commercial opportunities, and by helping create a market for CCS.

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

Now, other projects and countries must follow. In order for CCS, to truly become an effective climate tool, we need more commercial players on the field and taking an active role in bringing this technology forward.

In order to get there, we need to work together.

Governments, policies, international cooperation and funding matter.

To remove regulatory barriers, to facilitate transport of CO2 over borders for permanent storage, to reach economies of scale and to create a European market for CCS.

In this process, 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  borders.

As in any other groundbreaking project you will likely experience challenges and setbacks.

I urge you to keep your eyes on the target.

I will ensure that the Norwegian government will do the same – making CCS a viable and cost-efficient measure to reduce emissions.

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

I want to assure you, the government is a committed partner to Northern Lights.

We want to provide predictability and long-term framework conditions.

And we want to work with the industry towards a common, European project of scaling up the CCS market.

I wish you a great meeting today.

And I look forward to the discussions during this important summit.