Fighting climate change with carbon capture and storage

av Jens Stoltenberg, ,

Prime Minister, Distinguished participants, Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to Norway and welcome to Bergen.

The development of new tools and techniques is a testimony of human progress.

This ability is the most valuable capital we possess.

Our common history of technological advances gives us confidence that we will be able to overcome the threat of climate change.

The introduction film showed us snapshots of climate technologies - solutions that are already in use, or underway.

We need them all.

Because global warming is one of the greatest challenges we have ever faced. 

If we are to succeed in preventing the dramatic effects of climate change, we must cut global greenhouse gas emissions by between 50 and 85% by 2050.

During the same period, the worlds population will grow with around 50% and reach 9 billion.

In addition, the world needs more energy to ensure economic development and to reduce poverty.

From this we can only draw one conclusion:

During the coming decades we will have to transform our societies dramatically. 

Our production methods will have to change.

Our consumption will have to change.

We will have to make the transition to a low-carbon world.

And in order to make that transition, we will need to make use of all our abilities to develop and deploy new technologies.

Failure is not an option.

* * *

Earlier today, political leaders from 10 different countries visited a carbon capture and storage facility in the North Sea.

Sleipner is all about successful storage of CO2.

It shows that CO2 can be stored in geological structures without leakage.

This has been done safely, with no damage to health or the environment, for 13 years.

Carbon capture and storage has the potential to bridge the time gap between todays age of fossil fuels and a future age of renewable energy.

During the next 20 years, the worlds demand for energy is expected to double.

Although massive investments in renewable energy will be made over the coming years, the world will still depend on fossil fuels for many years to come.

Therefore, in order to ensure a sustainable supply of energy, our only alternative is to reduce emissions from coal, oil and gas.

We need political leadership for this to happen.

This is why ministers responsible for the environment, energy, technology and economy are present here today.

We need to discuss the potential of carbon capture and storage technologies.

We need to address related environmental, health and safety challenges.

And we need to provide incentives to make this technology commercial.

Burning coal represents a special challenge.

This is where carbon capture has the greatest potential.

The worlds coal reserves are estimated to last for more than 250 years.

A large proportion of these resources can be expected to be exploited.

It is therefore crucial to build carbon capture and storage capacity.

* * *

I am encouraged by the many initiatives taken on carbon capture world wide.

The Norwegian Government has embarked on an ambitious carbon capture programme.

At Mongstad - just north of Bergen - we are going to build a carbon capture technology centre.

The objective of the Centre is to test and demonstrate technologies that can reduce costs and risks of large scale capture.

* * *

The European Union is a major driver in the development and deployment of this technology.

As part of our contribution to the European Economic Area financial mechanisms,

Norway is ready to pledge 140 million Euro over a period of five years to support carbon capture and storage projects in new EU member states.

* * *

Copenhagen is soon approaching.

A new international climate regime should effectively promote technology transfer and cooperation. Norway sees carbon capture and storage as a key mitigation technology.

Some argue that carbon capture is an unproven technology.

We must prove that is works.

Some say carbon capture is too costly.

We must make it commercially attractive.

Some say large-scale deployment of carbon capture and storage is too distant in time.

We have to speed it up.

At the same time, all concerns must be properly addressed.

* * *

Through the development of new technologies I am confident that we will find solutions to the challenges of climate change - to the benefit of future generations.

Thank you.

Utskrift frå VIRKSOMME ORD
Institutt for informasjons- og medievitskap, Universitetet i Bergen