Scotland and Norway can work together to play a major role in tackling climate change, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told Norwegian business leaders.
Addressing the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise conference in Oslo, the First Minister highlighted offshore wind and carbon capture and storage as sectors where the two countries are at the forefront of developing technologies.
She said she hoped the North Connect project – a 600km cable taking electricity between Scotland and Norway – would progress in the near future following positive analysis by both the UK and Norwegian regulators. And she identified digital health as an area where further co-operation could produce benefits for citizens and provide new business opportunities.
The First Minister said:
“Scotland and Norway are natural partners. We don’t simply share ties of history and geography but also common values and interests.
“That will remain true regardless of Brexit and Scotland’s future constitutional position. We are determined to work with the Norwegian Government and Norwegian businesses to strengthen our existing relationships.
“We both appreciate the importance and urgency of moving to a future based on net zero emissions. Our countries are home to two of the most ambitious carbon capture and storage proposals of their kind in the world, technology which shows how Norway and Scotland can play a major part in tackling climate change.”
She added: “Norway is a shining example of how small, northern European nations which are independent have been able to use their powers, not simply to improve the lives of their citizens at home but to play a constructive part on the world stage.”
Norway is Scotland’s sixth largest trading partner with Scottish firms, exporting more than £1 billion in goods and services in 2017.
More than 100 Norwegian companies are established in Scotland, employing 5,870 people.
The Acorn Project at St Fergus in Aberdeenshire will seek to capture carbon dioxide from gas processing activities and use existing offshore pipelines to transport it to storage under the central North Sea.
The First Minister’s conference speech can be viewed online.