Tale/innlegg | Dato: 07.12.2021 | Nærings- og fiskeridepartementet
Av: Næringsminister Jan Christian Vestre (Speech given in New York on the 7th of December)
Your Royal Highness, *Checked against delivery
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you so much for inviting me to address you.
It is a great honor to be present here today, at the New York Stock Exchange.
And I am especially happy to be talking about a subject that I am very passionate about: the green transition!
The demand for green solutions, goods and services is increasing day by day.
Consumers are changing their behavior and putting more emphasis on ethical practices and sustainability.
Governments are putting regulations in place.
And companies are developing innovative technology to deliver sustainable solutions.
But there is still a long way to go.
To succeed with the green transition, large investments are needed.
Money must be channeled towards sustainable projects and companies.
To reach our common goals in the Paris Agreement we need the private financial sector on board!
In Norway, the financial sector is putting significant effort into promoting and facilitating sustainable finance.
The Oslo Stock Exchange was actually the first stock exchange in the world to establish a dedicated list for green bonds back in 2015.
During the last few years, we have seen increased demand for sustainable investments and financial products from both professional investors and consumers.
Both in Norway and here in the US, the increase in demand reflects that investors and consumers wish to contribute to a sustainable economy, or that they expect higher returns from green investments.
Or a combination of both.
A case in point is Tesla.
Technology from California, paired with proactive zero emission policies in Norway, has transformed our domestic automotive landscape in Norway, cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
This has, in turn, contributed to the creation of thousands of jobs in California.
And for many Tesla investors the share price development has been a great ride!
As in any aspect of the financial market, information is key for potential investors.
For financial markets to successfully channel capital to the projects and companies that will lead and survive the transition to a low-carbon economy, better disclosure is necessary.
Companies should disclose how they are affected by climate change, and how their activities impact the environment.
More information will also help prevent greenwashing.
We all share a responsibility to hold companies accountable.
And to make real progress, not just on paper.
By working together, Norway and the United States have achieved great things.
We are closely linked, also in the financial sector.
For instance, this summer the Norwegian battery company Freyr was listed here on the New York Stock Exchange.
Attracting both Norwegian and international investors.
Freyr has started building a battery factory in the northern part of Norway.
They are also considering building production capacity in North America, together with US partners.
Another Norwegian company listed here at the New York Stock Exchange is Høegh LNG, contributing to a greener shipping industry.
They are both great examples of how Norwegian and American companies benefit from each other, contributing to jobs and green value creation on both sides of the Atlantic.
If we are to succeed in creating a low-carbon economy, financing sustainable solutions is essential.
The financial sector will play a key role as a driving force for green investments in the years to come.
It is possible to combine economic growth and sustainability. But we have to speed things up.
To accomplish that, we must work together across sectors and across borders.
I look forward to fruitful discussions here today, and for new ideas and connections to be established.
Thank you so much for your attention.