EU and Faroe Islands strengthen ties on green transition and climate change

EU and Faroe Islands strengthen ties on green transition and climate change

The Faroe Islands, a self-governing country within the Kingdom of Denmark, and the European Union have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to, among other things, work together on the green transition, energy and climate change.

Source: The Government of the Faroe Islands

Faroese Prime Minister Aksel V. Johannesen and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen signed the MoU in the Prime Minister’s Office in Tórshavn, during what was the first-ever visit to the Faroe Islands by a European Commission President.

The document, said to be a milestone one for Faroe Islands-EU relations, aims to establish a framework focusing on areas such as green transition, energy, climate change, digitalization, and the Arctic, in addition to existing areas of cooperation on trade, fisheries and research.

The participants said they acknowledge their commitment to the Paris Agreement and its objectives and intend to facilitate the shift towards a sustainable, circular, energy-efficient, renewable energy-based, climate-neutral and resilient economy, working together towards the transition to an energy-efficient and renewable energy-based system and exchange practices on the phase-out of fossil fuels in all sectors of the economy.

They also plan to work to protect, restore and improve the quality of the environment, including air, water and soil, to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, as well as to tackle the degradation of ecosystems.

“The effort to enhance relations between the Faroe Islands and the EU has been ongoing for several years but today is the start of a new era in our collaboration. The changing global context makes it increasingly important to align closely with likeminded partners. The MoU will serve as a foundation for enhancing our cooperation with the EU,” said Prime Minister Johannesen.

The parties said they intend to promote, within their respective fields of competencies, closer relations through regular consultations aimed at strengthening existing cooperation and exploring ways to deepen and diversify cooperation in areas not covered by existing agreements, to advance shared interests and values and to facilitate mutual understanding.

Sweden-based ocean energy developer Minesto has welcomed the signing of the MoU, stating that the enhanced cooperation opens for strengthened business and public funding opportunities for the company, proposing a 200 MW tidal energy buildout to support the Faroe Islands in reaching 100% renewables by 2030.

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Partly funded by the EU program Horizon Europe, Minesto has grid-connected and installed its technology in the Faroe Islands.

According to the company, the Faroe Islands and national utility company Sev have one of the world’s most ambitious energy transition schemes aiming for 100% renewables by 2030, where tidal energy can play a key role.

“We welcome the enhanced cooperation between the EU and the Faroe Islands, as it means increased business and funding opportunities. Our close collaboration partner Sev is a true pioneer, and it is very positive to see the Faroe Islands acknowledged by the European Commission and the President herself,” said Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto.