Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, touting the country’s current and future role as a major exporter of natural gas to Europe, voiced support for a shift from coal-fired energy to gas to help meet ambitious goals to cut global carbon emissions.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at ONS 2014 in Stavanger, the conservative leader called for a uniform set of emission targets from European Commission policy makers based on a carbon price.
“Norway has the resources and the infrastructure to be a significant supplier of natural gas for the foreseeable future,” Solberg told an audience of about 900 attendees.
“If you have a neutral system based on pricing of emissions, we will have a big role for gas. If we get policy decisions in the EU now, over the new system and the framework that they are developing, that are just caused by the national interest of different countries, then it will be more difficult.”
Solberg praised the domestic industry for its successful efforts to find new resources and extend the life of existing fields, and said market forces, rather than government policy, should shape Norway’s oil and gas future.
“Our job is to make sure that the policies around how the market is functioning are functioning good enough,” she said.
“People will always say ‘the government should do more in my area’. So I think we’ll stick to the fact that you have to make good production, lower emissions of CO2, and I’ll try to make you the best framework that you can have.”