State visit from the Netherlands: Speech at SINTEF Ocean
Ladies and gentlemen
For me, the ocean represents 3 things:
First, the ocean connects us – to each other, to nature and to ourselves. Because we all come from the ocean. The ocean is our home, but we have forgotten it.
Secondly, we are all dependent on the ocean. Without a healthy ocean, we don’t have a healthy planet. Unfortunately, as we all know; this is today’s reality. 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 and coastal ecosystems. We need to reduce ocean pollution.
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.
And: As much as 21 percent of the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions we need to cut, can be achieved in the ocean.
The Crown Princess and I are pleased to welcome Your Majesties to Trondheim, and to some of Norway’s cutting-edge scientists and experts – within the fields of sustainability, energy, and ocean-related research.
Today’s visit is about transitions – in business, in research, in our relationship to nature. To a greener, healthier, better world.
These are issues I know the King and Queen of the Netherlands are very engaged in – Your Majesty’s important work domestically and internationally on the ocean, water and sanitation, and the Queen’s long time work towards financial inclusion for all.
Therefore, this impressive location is a suitable setting for today’s topics since this powerhouse is the world’s northernmost energy-positive building.
The Netherlands and Norway have a lot in common. One major element is of course right outside this building: the sea. The North Sea has for both our seafaring countries been the gateway to the world, and a means to connect. The ocean has provided us with food, employment, and access to goods. The seas are deeply rooted in our history.
Today, both our countries focus on fostering innovative and inclusive solutions to sustainable ocean management.
Here in Trondheim, we will meet some of the world’s most innovative researchers within the field – at SINTEF, at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and at Maritime Robotics.
SINTEF and NTNU have for many years collaborated with Dutch TNO and the universities in Delft and Wageningen.
Today, our national cooperation will manifest in a Memorandum of Understanding on energy cooperation, and the signing of a partnership agreement on circular economy cooperation.
Our two countries share a common ocean, but we also face many of the same challenges. We have a collective opportunity and responsibility to protect the ocean. We both need to bring the ocean back into balance and through that the world back into balance.
Because this is the stuff that our children’s future is made of.
To tell us more about the impressive work done here at SINTEF, please welcome CEO Alexandra Bech Gjørv!