Innlegg på Indre markedskonferansen: EUs grønne giv

Utenriksminister Ine Eriksen Sørides innlegg (digitalt) på Nærings- og fiskeridepartementets og NHOs indre markedskonferanse om EUs grønne giv.

Dear friends,

Thank you for this opportunity to address an issue that has remained at the top of our European agenda even in times of a pandemic – or maybe precisely because of the pandemic - namely the need to tackle climate change and stimulate green growth. A special thank you to Diderik Samsom for participating.

Covid-19 is by no means behind us. As representatives of businesses around the country, you know this better than most of us. But the day will come, hopefully sooner rather than later, when the economic recovery will start picking up speed. And we have to make sure that this recovery facilitates the green transformation of our societies.

That is why the Norwegian Government has embraced the idea of using the European Green Deal as a compass to rebuild the economy after Covid-19. We have a whole of government approach, and the Foreign Ministry is coordinating the work. The European Green Deal is both a growth strategy and a plan to make Europe the world’s first climate neutral region by 2050.

We fully support the vision of the European Green Deal.

Our ambition is to be an active partner and work closely with the EU and its all member states in its implementation. And Norway is well positioned to be both active and relevant.

Being a partner to the EU in this effort will not only strengthen our contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, but it will also help us pursue the transition of Norwegian economy and society that has started and will have to continue.

The Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) is the cornerstone of our cooperation. We’re fully a part of the Single Market and the EEA is establishing common rules on competition and enabling close cooperation in areas also outside the four freedoms, such as environment and research.

Let me mention just a few examples of how Norway is active and relevant, and what we have to offer. I am sure my fellow ministers and you from the business sector will extend this list.

First, the EU and Norway share ambitious climate targets for 2030. Norway is committed to reducing emissions with at least 50 %, and towards 55 % by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. A couple of weeks ago, the Government presented its plans for how to reach this goal over the coming decade.

Second, Norway has over time developed a market and an infrastructure for zero emission vehicles.

Third, Norwegian industry has the technology and competence to advance the use of CCS, hydrogen and the production of batteries.

Fourth, our regions, cities and communities engage as representatives of “smart citites”, as partners in EU programmes such as Horizon Europe, Interreg or through the EEA Grants.

Fifth, our universities, institutes, and companies are busy writing proposals for research and innovation projects, together with their European colleagues.

And sixth, our foreign service is ready to assist the companies as door-openers and problem solvers, providing contextual understanding as well as reporting on market opportunities. I’ve tasked all our European embassies with reporting regularly on possibilities for Norwegian companies.

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Achieving a green transformation of our societies will not be easy.

But by developing a substantial Green Deal partnership with the EU,
we will both deliver on our international commitments to fight climate change and lay the foundation for a green and sustainable European economy for the future.

Thank you for your attention.