Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru held this digital speech at the NTNU Energy Transition Conference about energy transition, CCS and climate goals. The conference took place in Trondheim on April 26th 2021.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As last year's Energy Transition Conference, we meet on the screens.
Though we are at the beginning of the end, the pandemic is still restraining our communities, businesses, and industries.
Since March last year, the Norwegian government's primary task has been to prevent the spread of the virus and to mitigate the effects on our society and economy.
Assisting our energy sector is an important part of that.
We have done so by introducing a tax-stimulus package - to help the petroleum industry amid declining oil prices. This made it possible to follow-through with projects as planned, and thus averted an unompleyment crisis in the supply-chain industry.
Further, we introduced a green investment package, including funding for research and development for the energy industry.
And not least, a stable power supply during this period has, as always, been important for our industries and enterprises across the country – and, for the growing number of home offices.
Yes, - this is all about keeping the wheels in motion, securing jobs and core competence.
But there's more to it than that.
It's also about preparing for the future.
We should not lose sight of one of the most fundamental long-term challenges we share: We need to provide energy for a growing world population, and we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The last months, I have taken part in the International Energy Agency's commission on "People-Centered Clean Energy Transitions".
The purpose of the commission is to give input to this fall's COP26 in Glasgow, on the social and economic aspects around the transition to cleaner energy technologies.
What I can say is that changing the huge and complicated global energy system is going to take time – and it`s not going to be easy.
However, the debate is sometimes dominated by contrasts: Some say, if we are to reduce emissions, we also have to reduce economic growth.
I choose the optimistic approach. I choose to see opportunitites in the challenges. By handling the emission challenge, we will also create new jobs, values and economic growth.
These changes - and the challenges and opportunities that come with them - transcend national borders.
That's why I am pleased to share this panel with participants representing the international approach, and not least to discuss the best ways to support the green growth ahead.
Norway can, and will contribute to reach our common ambitions.
First, by being active on all relevant international arenas where climate solutions are discussed, supporting international climate regimes like the Paris Agreement and taking part in the EU emission trading system.
Not least, there is a steady increase in funds allocated to clean energy transition, both bilaterally and multilaterally.
Second, we will contribute as a renewable energy nation. With a carbon free power system, we are in a unique position, compared with most other countries in electrifying industries and transport.
And finally, we will contribute as a petroleum nation.
In a low carbon society, lower emissions from the production of oil and gas will be important. That is one of the areas where Norway will continue to contribute.
I am therefore very much encouraged by the ambitious targets set by the Norwegian oil and gas industry to cut their emissions.
Our experience is that putting a price on carbon– really works. The average carbon footprint per barrel produced on the Norwegian Continental Shelf is about half of the global average.
We must also remember that the technology and competence in the oil and gas sector provides a foundation for new, sustainable opportunities in other sectors.
One such area is carbon capture and storage – where we have made substantial progress by launching "Longship" – the Norwegian government's full-scale CCS project.
It's about solving some of our future challenges, cutting emissions, developing new technologies, and creating new jobs.
With this in mind, the Norwegian government will shortly present a white paper – focusing on the long-term value creation from Norwegian energy resources.
The goal is to assess the industrial potential in Norwegian energy resources for future sustainable and profitable jobs and value creation.
The white paper will cover a wide range of topics, ranging from the continued development of a petroleum industry for the future, to renewables, offshore wind, deep-sea mining, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, and not least – how they're all more or less interconnected.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The pandemic has brought about rapid changes in society. We know this also applies for the change in technology and energy consumption.
It calls for preparedness – and policies with both a long-term and broad approach. We need to see the whole picture.
We must continue to identify common interests – in energy, reducing emissions and developing technology, creating new jobs and industries– and all collaborate for a sustainable future.
Thank you so much for your attention!