Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru held this speeh at the Northern Ligths Summit in Oslo on 16th of June 2021.
Checked against delivery.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Despite living in the midst of a pandemic, I consider climate change and the energy transition as the challenges of our lifetime.
If the world is to meet the obligations in the Paris Agreement, it will require huge efforts to reduce emissions.
Norway can and will do its part.
Our goal is to reduce emissions in a way that transforms Norway into a low emission society - and at the same time facilitates green, sustainable growth. A growth which entails safety, welfare and profitable jobs.
We must cut emissions, not development.
These ambitions were underlined in the recently published White Paper exploring the long-term value from Norwegian energy resources.
Setting out how we can use our energy resources to create growth and jobs.
And not least, how we can use expertise and technologies in the oil and gas sector as a contributor to the development of new industries and technologies – such as carbon capture and storage, or CCS.
As you know, carbon capture and storage is a priority for the Norwegian government. With the knowledge we have today, widespread CCS at lowest possible cost, will be necessary to meet the climate targets.
Last year the government launched Longship. This is the largest climate project in Norwegian industry ever, and the first project to integrate a complete, full scale CCS-chain.
A large investment, no doubt – however, the potential costs of not doing it would be much higher.
Longship will reduce emissions from Norwegian industry, nurture technology development, and create jobs. But the project's underlying objective is to speed up the development and deployment of CCS technology globally
And at the receiving end of this endeavour we find Northern Lights.
An infrastructure providing incentives for new projects, both foreign and domestic, using their storage facility.
To use their own words: Northern Lights is a first – and they want to make it easy for others to follow. The Longship companies and Gassnova are eager to share their knowledge.
We have already seen some great developments:
There is a productive dialogue with a number of potential customers.
Important letters of intent have been signed.
Feasibility studies have been initiated.
Last month Prime Minister Erna Solberg laid the foundation stone for the Northern Lights CCS facility in Øygarden on the western coast.
And not least, Heidelberg Cement, lending their weight to the Northern Lights project, announcing their project to build the world's first carbon-neutral cement plant on Gotland in Sweden.
Longship has had a promising departure and voyage so far– but we have not reached the point of destination yet.
If carbon capture and storage is to become an efficient climate policy instrument, subsequent facilities must be established in Europe and globally – and it must be done now.
The critical mass of CCS needs to be achieved within this decade and we need more players on the field – or additional Longships in the water.
And that is exactly what I hope we can achieve at this years' Northern Lights Summit.
For now, thank you for your attention!