The Ocean 2021
Ladies and gentlemen
How great to be back in Bergen and to be speaking in front of people instead of a machine. And what better event than this important gathering: The Ocean. Today I am here to open the ocean. Not parting the sea maybe, but make no mistake, the task we are facing is formidable, challenging – but as all good tasks it is meaningful.
I want to emphasize three main points today:
The ocean connects us.
We are all dependent on the ocean.
The ocean is full of possibilities.
The ocean connects us - to each other, to nature and to ourselves. For thousands of years, we have been travelling on the ocean. That has been the way be have been able to connect with other human beings far away from us. It has been a way of discovering the world.
The ocean connects us to nature. We get our food from the ocean. When we dive into the ocean and go swimming and we are emerged in water, we feel this connectedness. When we see this beautiful view – the beauty the ocean brings into our lives – that makes us understand and realize that we are part of nature, we are part of this beautiful planet.
And the ocean connects us to ourselves. As you all know. We used to live in the ocean. That is where we are from. The thing is, we got lost along the way. A little bit. We need to reconnect with our old home.
That brings me to my second point:
We are dependent on the ocean. If we don’t have a healthy ocean, no healthy planet. Unfortunately, as we all know; the ocean today is not in good health. It is our job to do something about that.
If we are to improve our common, sustainable future, we need a healthy ocean.
We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We need to protect and restore marine environments and coastal ecosystems. We need to reduce ocean pollution.
Which brings me to my third point:
The ocean is full of possibilities. A healthy ocean can solve many of our common challenges: It can play a critical role in feeding a growing global population. It can supply the world with clean energy. As much as 21 percent of the solutions we need to cut greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved in the ocean.
As we have learned from the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy – initiated and led by our Prime Minister. They say: Protect. Produce. Prosper.
None of these great advances and solutions come automatically. It is up to all of us. It requires dedication, entrepreneurial spirit, and hard work. To reach these goals, we need the sharpest minds and the bravest hearts. That is where all of you come in. The work you all do are key factors for success. We need to work together across sectors and nations to reach these goals. Meeting places like The Ocean are therefore important and essential.
My friends, we are here to bring the ocean back into balance, and through that the world back into balance. No small task, this is the stuff that our children’s future is made of.
We have a collective opportunity and responsibility to protect the ocean. As we unite behind the science, let’s take care of the ocean – and thereby take care of ourselves.
Let’s reconnect with our old home and treat it as just that – our home.
I wish you a successful conference. Thank you for your contribution.