As Ms. Solberg said the times that we currently live in are uncertain times, as the world faces numerous challenges; from hunger and poverty to climate change.

She believes however that there is a solution to these problems, which in fact can be found in the ocean. She explained that from job creation to energy, health and nutrition, the possibilities that the ocean can offer are tremendous.

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However, she noted that the world will not be able to leverage the full potential of the oceans if it keeps failing to keep them clean. Namely, human activities are putting more and more pressure on marine ecosystems, and as a result on services that are fundamental to our well-being. Specifically she highlighted over-fishing, marine pollution and climate change, which are causing unprecedented changes.

If we manage to strike the right balance, we can show that there need not be a contradiction between protection and production

Regarding Norway, Ms. Solberg said that as a coastal state it is based on income generated by the exploitation of marine resources. The country's prosperity also depends on the sustainable use of the oceans.

For this reason, it updated its ocean strategy, reaffirming Norway’s priorities in this area. She added that in the future, the Norwegian ocean policy will focus more strongly on three specific areas:

  1. Skills and digitalization;
  2. Value creation along the entire Norwegian coast;
  3. Climate change and green shipping.

The maritime industry is undergoing rapid change. It has every opportunity to be at the forefront of new technology development and to become a key player in reducing emissions. For years, the industry has invested in knowledge and new technology to meet demands from customers and society. New challenges have, in effect, led to competitive advantages, not least for innovative and proactive supplier industries

...the Norwegian Prime Minister commented regarded that current situation in the global shipping industry.

She mentioned that the aspirations are great for the sector, and Norway is determined to develop safe, reliable, sustainable and cost-effective services. Regarding the reduction of carbon emissions in the maritime industry, Ms. Solberg believes that it will not only reduce the country's domestic emissions, but it will also build global competitiveness in this growth segment.

As a matter of fact, she revealed that Norway is working on an action plan to ensure green shipping, with the ambition being to cut GHG emissions from Norwegian shipping and fishing by 50% by 2030, in comparison to 2005 levels.

Our experience is that investments in green shipping pay off. These investments are not just good for the environment, but also for employment and the economy. Norway started early with vessels fuelled by liquefied gas. This has sparked technology development, reduced air pollution and created an international market. More than 300 vessels are now in operation – or on order – globally

Nevertheless, despite the positive developments, Erna Solberg insisted that the world must develop a third and fourth generation technology, even if the first and second generations are still in their infancy. This is why Norway will have car ferries operating with hydrogen-electric propulsion, from 2021.

What is more, green requirements will nor lead to jobs reduction, but instead they will create morel. In this aspect, shipping must promote low- and zero emission solutions in all its segments, and Norway is confident that its policy will play a significant role in similar developments for other countries.

Another important factor that the Prime Minister focused on is that national action must be complemented with international action. In fact, after IMO negotiated an agreement on reducing emissions, it will cooperate with Norway to support developing countries in reducing emissions from ships.

In addition, Ms. Solberg has invited 13 world leaders to join her in the High-level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, in order to set out a roadmap for a sustainable ocean economy.

The nexus between climate change and the oceans will be one of the areas in focus. Norway's experience of combining protection and production – from fishing to shipping – strengthens our belief that sustainable use of the ocean is possible. That the full potential of our oceans can be unleashed

...Norway’s Prime Minister concluded.