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State visit to Germany: Speech at energy seminar

Speech by His Majesty The King when opening the seminar "Sustainability of future energy supplies" in Düsseldorf, during state visit to Germany, October 2007.

Minister President Ruttgers,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Increasing energy demand and the accelerating climate change are two intertwined issues dominating to-day’s international agenda. The link between these topics is growing stronger and will for sure be a global priority for many years to come. Balancing the increasing demand for secure energy with our efforts to prevent environmental degradation provides a twin challenge to the global community.

This year marks 20 years since the Brundtland commission launched the report “Our Common Future” which changed more or less the way we are thinking of environmental questions. “Sustainable Development” became the new concept which signified the close interlink between environment, economy and social development. And sustainable development provides the underlying premise for our discussions here today. In this respect I find it significant to note that this year’s Nobel Peace Price was awarded to representatives of this cause.

Germany and Norway are privileged with the resources to overcome the common challenges we face in our global world. Both countries are rich on resources; both human and natural resources. We should strive to increase the interaction and exchange of knowledge, research and work in order to overcome the energy and climate problems, and find solutions of the challenges in the future. And thus do our utmost to work for a sustainable future.

For Norway it is certainly a dilemma and a challenge to have the ambition of being both a leading and responsible petroleum producer and a leading player in efforts to limit the climate change. The challenge does – however – not only affect the oil and gas producing countries, but also for instance Germany in the capacity as an oil- and gas consumer. But these challenges are not exclusive for Germany and Norway. It is an international problem which requires global solutions.

Our two countries are leading producers of energy technology and know-how. This is where we can make a difference with regard to the climate change issue. Carbon capture and storage as well as renewable energies are areas where we can work both nationally and bilaterally to develop low-carbon technologies to the benefit of the global community.

I am happy to note that these seminars here in Düsseldorf – which have attracted outstanding researchers, politicians and business partners from Germany and Norway – will address these global dilemmas and challenges.

Hopefully - this interchange of ideas, experiences, and the important work that lies ahead - will be a contribution to move the world in the right direction to the benefit of the coming generations.

I wish you all an inspiring seminar.

17.10.2007

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