Tale/innlegg | Dato: 08.09.2022 | Nærings- og fiskeridepartementet
Av: Næringsminister Jan Christian Vestre (Speech given at the 7th of September 2022 in Washington D.C.)
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to finally be here.
As you may know I was supposed to meet many of you last December, but unfortunately I had to reschedule my plans due to domestic issues.
To start with, I want to thank the Norwegian Embassy and Ambassador Krutnes for inviting me back to the US and DC, and for hosting this seminar which I have really looked forward to participate in.
During the last six months, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed the geopolitical situation.
It is causing human tragedy in Ukraine.
And it is affecting the global energy situation.
Showcasing for all, the urgency of accelerating the green transition.
As we face these challenges, international cooperation is more important than ever.
Therefore, the Norwegian Government is actively promoting a strengthened cooperation with industrial partners abroad.
Not least with the US, our closest trading partner and ally.
Since I took office as Minister of Trade and Industry last October, I have travelled around Norway, from the cold North to the sunny South, visiting companies from all kinds of sectors.
On my visits I get the same message:
The green transition is not science fiction.
The green transition is happening right here and now!
But we have to accelerate it.
There is no time to lose!
We politicians have to do our part.
But, for the green transition to take place we need the private sector on board.
This is what makes the First Movers Coalition such an important initiative!
We fully support FMC’s goal of creating early markets for emerging clean technologies that are essential to the net-zero transition.
The Coalition sends a strong message to investors, companies, politicians, consumers and the public that we have to transform words into action.
Building new, green industries in Norway is at the very top of the Norwegian Government’s to-do list.
In June this year, the Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and myself launched a roadmap for our national green transition, the Green Industry Initiative.
Our goal is to create green jobs throughout the country, enhance our exports from green industries, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent.
To succeed, we have to look to the core sectors where Norway has clear advantages.
The roadmap pinpoints seven such core sectors:
- Offshore wind
- Carbon capture and storage
- The battery industry
- Greening of the most power-intensive industries
- Forestry and forest bioeconomy
- And last, but not least: Green shipping
To summarise; the Green Industry Initiative, as well as the green transition itself, is not just about developing new, sustainable industries.
We also have to transform the industries that have created jobs and welfare for decades towards low- and zero-emissions solutions.
By working together we can achieve both.
Norway and the US are both taking an active role in promoting innovation and sustainable energy solutions.
The US has just adopted ambitious clean energy policies through the Inflation Reduction Act.
And our interests are clearly aligned in several areas; such as offshore wind, zero emission transportation, batteries and minerals, to name a few.
A case in point is the Empire Wind project.
Together with local and international partners, Equinor, Norway’s largest energy company, is about to develop offshore wind installations off the coast of New York, capable of providing energy for up to almost two million homes.
Another great example is Yara, which is here with us today.
Not only are they at the forefront of adopting autonomous zero-emission shipping solutions, they are also making farming more sustainable.
Yara has established an incubator farm in Modesto, close to San Francisco, where they apply digital solutions to fight climate changes in the soil.
And then, there is aluminum production.
Norwegian Hydro is building an aluminum recycling factory in Michigan, and Alcoa is producing some of the world’s cleanest aluminum in Norway.
I could go on and on.
These examples show us that by joining forces across the Atlantic, through trade and business cooperation, we can develop technology and efficient solutions that will help us reach the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
And create new, green, profitable jobs both in Norway and the US.
A win-win situation!
Our common goal is clear; to build a sustainable economy for the future.
A continued, close collaboration between Norway and the US is the recipe for success in the years to come.
It will bring excellent opportunities for both Norwegian and American companies.
Now, I am really looking forward to listening to you, Varun Sivaram, on how we can join forces to develop green technology and sustainable energy solutions.
Thank you so much for your attention.