EU and Norway form Green Alliance on carbon capture, hydrogen and offshore renewables

The European Union (EU) and Norway have formed a Green Alliance to strengthen their cooperation on clean energy and industrial transition as well as joint climate action and environmental protection efforts.

European Union flag (Courtesy of the European Commission/Photo by Mauro Bottaro)

The agreement was signed on 24 April in Brussels by the President of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen, and Norway’s Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre.

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As part of the Green Alliance, the parties reiterated their commitment to their respective 2030 targets of at least 55% greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions compared to 1990, and to achieving climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. They aim to keep global temperature rise within the 1.5C limit under the Paris Agreement while ensuring energy security, environmental protection and human rights.

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The EU and Norway will work closely together to ensure the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement and the historic biodiversity agreement reached at the UN Biodiversity conference COP15, the EU stated.

Furthermore, the parties committed to aligning their domestic and international climate policies to pursue climate neutrality.

The alliance, described as the most comprehensive form of bilateral engagement established under the European Green Deal, will focus on accelerating the clean energy transition with a focus on hydrogen and offshore renewable energy.

In addition, the parties will collaborate on decarbonising the transport sector across all modes of transport, with special regard to zero GHG emission and zero pollution shipping.

Other priority areas include:

  • strengthening efforts to combat climate change including cooperation on climate adaptation, carbon pricing, carbon removals, and carbon capture, transport, utilisation and storage;
  • increasing cooperation on environmental issues with a focus on halting and reversing biodiversity loss, forest degradation and deforestation, promoting circular economy and addressing the full life cycle of plastics, the development of global standards for the management of chemicals and waste and sustainable ocean management; 
  • supporting the green industrial transition and further enhancing political and industrial cooperation through strategic partnerships, such as a future Strategic Partnership on Sustainable Raw Materials and Batteries Value Chains;
  • increasing regulatory and business cooperation to set global standards for the innovative environmental solutions required to accelerate the transition to circular and net-zero economies;
  • consolidating existing collaboration on research, education, and innovation in the areas of decarbonisation, renewable energy, and bioeconomy;
  • working together to promote sustainable finance and investments to set Europe on a pathway to an environmentally sustainable, climate-neutral and climate resilient economy.

This alliance is the second agreement of its kind, following the EU-Japan Green Alliance signed in 2021. The EU and Norway also agreed to jointly promote ambitious climate action on the global stage. To this end, the two parties said they will cooperate to support developing countries and emerging economies in the process of implementing their climate and environmental policies. To help keep global temperature rise within the 1.5C limit, the agreement confirms that full respect for the precautionary principle is paramount in the Arctic region, they stated.

President von der Leyen said: “Norway is a long-standing and reliable partner to the EU and we share a common vision for building a climate-neutral continent. We want our societies and economies to prosper together while reducing emissions, protecting nature, decarbonising our energy systems, and greening our industries. This Green Alliance makes our bond even stronger and allows us to design a better future together.”

Prior to forming the Green Alliance, the EU and Norway worked together to stabilise the energy markets in Europe amid the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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