Norway is a green lab

Xynteo Exchange 2017

Næringsminister Monica Mælands åpning av Statkrafts sesjon "Norway as a lab for a green future" under Xynteo Exchange 15. november 2017.

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Ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon everybody!

It is a great pleasure to open this seminar and meet so many hard working entrepreneurs and ambitious leaders working together to create green growth.

There are two key words here today:

leadership and cooperation.

And the good news:

They are both renewable resources.

And truly needed for the green shift we are entering.

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We have to find solutions to combat climate change,

and at the same time ensure healthy food, clean energy and good jobs for our growing population.

That is truly a huge responsibility,

a great challenge,

and a tremendous task.

It will take a giant global dugnad to solve it.

That doesn't make it any easier!

Right now, ministers from the whole world – with a few important exceptions – are gathered in Bonn to stake out the course for a green future.

Norway has committed to the Paris agreement.

And to become a low-emission society by 2050.

You play a key role in reaching that goal.

You are taking Norway through the green shift,

into a sustainable, green economy.

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In some areas, Norway is a green lab already:

We are Europe's leading producer of hydropower.

Our host today, Statkraft, is the largest provider of renewable energy in Europe, with 99 per cent renewable power.

We have ambitious goals for carbon capture and storage (CCS). And we are committed to the ambition to develop a new full-scale CCS chain in Norway.

We have also taken the lead in the development of offshore windpower. The world's first floating windfarm opened up in October off the coast of Scotland – with Statoil's windmills. Built with experience and expertise from the Norwegian offshore industry.

And Norway is a pioneer country for green transport.

On land, the world is already looking to Norway in the field of electric cars. We have busses running on electricity and biofuel, and hydrogen trucks transporting goods. 

At sea, we are at the forefront in the development of green maritime technology.

We have more than 50 LNG fuelled vessels in operation, around half of the world's LNG fleet.

I am the proud godmother of Ampére, the world's first zero-emission car and passenger ferry.

We are now building the world’s first hydrogen-powered ferry.

And in 2020, Yara and Kongsberg Maritime's autonomous, battery-driven container ship will replace 40.000 trucks a year!

Those are only a few examples. Proving that "Green growth" is no longer a contradiction in terms.

It is becoming reality.

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You are the leaders of industry and knowledge institutions and you are in the driving seat of this development.

However, you are not alone. We are in it together. After all, it is a dugnad. And the Government will do our share. 

We will facilitate and support the green shift through:

  • Predictable framework conditions
  • Heavy investments in research and innovation
  • And a strong green line through our policies for renewal and growth.

For example: Ambitious climate targets in Norway and the EU is a very predictable framework.

It is a challenging one, but also loaded with potential.

We already see a growing demand for clean energy and green technology.

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And Norwegian industry has a head start here. Norway was an early mover by making polluters pay through carbon pricing. And by incentives for greener solutions. Add to the list clean power, high productivity, and highly skilled labor. It puts us in a very favourable position.

A strong commitment and drive towards a green future will also pull other policies in the same direction.

For example, it means that many of the Government's growth-promoting tax cuts and record investments in infrastructure, research and innovation will work towards the green shift.

However, we have put a green label on many of our policies:

  • Our new law on public procurement opens up for more innovation, and makes green choices a priority.
  • A large share of our research and innovation budget is supporting green programs and projects. Such as Enova, that supports new energy and climate technology.
  • Last year, we named 8 new research centers for clean energy.
  • We have boosted the climate and renewable energy fund. And we are about to set up a new green investment company called «Fornybar AS», that will invest in projects that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
  • And last month, we presented our national strategy of green competitiveness.

All these measures have a common goal:

making the green shift an opportunity and competitive advantage for Norway and Norwegian industry.

Can we do better? Yes, we all can - and we will.

And together, we will renew and transform Norway into a greener and more innovative economy.

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With your leadership and cooperation,

you will be central in the green shift.

And you are not alone. Remember:

We are in this together, in a giant dugnad.

Good luck, and keep up the good work!

 Thank you for your attention.

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