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Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit

Speech by Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the Youth Leadership Summit in Oslo, 23 October 2019.

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It is a pleasure for me to welcome you all to the fourth Youth Leadership Summit.

For me personally, this is one of the highlights of the Our Ocean conference.

It is very inspiring to meet so many young leaders.

We need your creative ideas about how we can better balance the needs of society, industry and the ocean environment.

If managed properly, the oceans hold the key to meeting many of the SDGs.

The oceans provide food, jobs, energy and welfare.

But they are also facing serious threats: loss of biodiversity, marine pollution, and over-exploitation of marine resources. And last but not least climate change.

The recent special report by the IPCC gives a clear warning that massive changes are in store for the oceans if we fail to meet our climate targets.

At the same time, the oceans can also provide solutions. At scale.

Last month, the High-level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy released a study showing that ocean-based climate action can reduce the emissions gap by as much as 21% by 2050.

This is equivalent to taking more than a billion cars off the roads each year.

A sustainable and healthy ocean economy will be crucial for fighting climate change.

Ocean protection and ocean productivity are two sides of the same coin.

We need to achieve both – through new technologies, new models of partnership and innovative financing solutions.

The OECD has predicted that the ocean economy will double in size by 2030.

This will mean more jobs, more food on the table, more energy and more welfare for large parts of the world’s population.

However, these gains will be short-lived unless the ocean economy is developed sustainably, using the best available knowledge.

We cannot afford to take shortcuts when it comes to the health of our oceans – or your future.

You are about to start discussing how we can develop integrated, smart solutions for the oceans.

I would encourage you to mingle with the other Our Ocean participants as much as you can over the next two days.

And to pitch your ideas to representatives from governments, industry and civil society.

It is by learning and sharing that we will have the best basis for becoming agents of positive change.

I wish you a very productive bootcamp!

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