FROM THE DIRECTORS' CHAIRS
Unni Steinsmo, SINTEF's president – CEO
Torbjørn Digernes, NTNU's rector
A global road map
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today. All countries have a responsibility to mobilize their human and economic resources in the fight against its negative effects. As an energy-rich nation with a high level of national income, Norway has special responsibility here.
This is why we have challenged all the political parties in the Norwegian Parliament to transform Norway into a global guide in climate politics! We propose that between 2010 and 2020 the country should raise its investment in climate mitigation efforts by at least 1 billion euro a year, putting 700 million into climate measures so that we can meet our goal of a 20% cut in emissions by 2020. Another 170 million euro should be put into education, research and development in climate research and technology, and 130 million into establishing pilot projects in climate technology.
This would also offer opportunities for value creation, industrial development and would enable us to demonstrate global political leadership. It is quite possible to implement major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at the same time as we improve living conditions for the majority of people on our planet.
“As an energy-rich nation with a high level of national income, Norway has special responsibility.”
As a result of the national political agreement on climate policy, Norway recently established eight national research centres for environmentally friendly energy. NTNU and SINTEF both play leading roles in this effort, and are participants in six of the centres. The enormous challenges we face
require us to make an integrated effort, in addition to implementing concrete measures. Our participation will put us in a position to make a contribution in several areas of industry and society.
Solar cell technology: In the course of just a few years, Norway has launched several new companies and is an international leader in the solar cell industry, headed by REC and Elkem Solar.
Offshore wind-power: We can become a world-leading supplier of offshore wind-power, based on our strong traditions in offshore design, engineering and operation.
Hydropower: Hydropower is another strong Norwegian tradition and competence base, with a supply industry led by Norway.
CO2 capture and storage: Norwegian suppliers are making their mark on the international scene, in this field, and the storage potential of our continental shelf is enormous.
Climate-neutral buildings: a major construction industry can contribute to important climatic improvements by deploying new materials, methods and technical installations.
Bioenergy: A Norwegian industrial cluster can help to bring about major cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by putting more bioenergy into heat and power generation wherever this is possible.
An annual investment of 1 billion euro is equivalent to about 1.4 per cent of our national budget, and would cost each of Norwegian citizen less than 250 euro a year. This is a small price to pay for helping to save the world for future generations.
Published October, 2009