Arctic Frontiers Abroad: Building bridges through green transition

 

You can watch the recorded discussion here.

 

In November we had our first Arctic Frontiers discussion supporting the 2021 theme Building Bridges as we explored how we can facilitate collaboration and innovative solutions for a sustainable Arctic future through green transition. This session was a successful collaboration with The Finnish Embassy in Oslo and Innovation Norway Arctic. The key message from all speakers can be summed up in one word – collaboration.

 

Anu Fredrikson, Executive Director stated that increased attention towards climate change and its impact in the Arctic have accelerated the calls for carbon neutrality and green transition. Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Ville Skinnari, referred to the Nordic slogan: Build back better and greener and stated that this reflects our spirit perfectly. Norway and Finland are natural partners in promoting green transition. We complement each other and have business cooperation already in motion. The Arctic is high on the agenda in both countries and places with people, businesses and opportunities for green transition. In paving the way forward, there is a lot of potential for fruitful cooperation between Finland and Norway Finland – complementary skills and technology. By working together, we can be stronger.

 

Ole Erik Almlid, Director General at Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise NHO launched the idea of a joint Nordic strategy for export. He said that we must fight together to keep businesses afloat through the pandemic. At the same time, we must plan for future job and value creation. The message is clear: The jobs and businesses of the future are greener, more digital and more international. Hydrogen and battery production are examples of areas where both Norway and Finland are well positioned for international environmental contribution and value creation.

 

Tero Holländer, Head of Business Line Batteries at Fortum said that there is a tremendous need for battery and the demand for raw materials is growing substantially and believes that Finland and Norway will benefit from collaboration in this area. Jan Gabor, Vice President Marketing at Mo Industripark AS, second this and says that Mo Industripark has worked with Nordic initiatives for many years. By demonstrating that we can produce green products with green power in vulnerable areas in the Arctic, we can show the rest of the world how future industries can develop and produce sustainable products.

 

Tomas Häyrys, Mayor of Vaasa and EnergyVaasa states that Vaasa has been building bridges in the Nordic countries for a long time and gave the examples of the logistical corridor from Mo i Rana, through Vaasa to Umeå and onwards, and the collaboration with battery storage operators. Building on the collaborations that are established will make companies thrive and create win-win solutions.

 

Terje Skansen, CEO at Varanger Kraft, says that the future need for green hydrogen and green ammonia are hundreds of millions of tons. This is a global challenge, not a regional challenge. The Arctic is dependent on the rest of the world, and the rest of the world is dependent on the Arctic. We have to collaborate to solve this need. Cato Esperø, Sales director Marine Solutions & Services at Wärtsilä Norway fully agrees on this. There is a huge transformation that we are in. Today, the shipping industry is using approximately 1 million ton of diesel every day. To convert this into green fuel, like green ammonia, we need 2,3 million tons every day making the market for green solutions huge. Based on the unique technology we have in the north, we can play an important role putting this into motion.

 

Concluding remarks were given by Ingrid Dahl Skarstein, senior advisor at Innovation Norway. She stated that in the global context, Norway and Finland are small countries. Still, both countries are world leading in the transition towards renewable energy, developing cutting edge world-class technology. The speeches today show joint motivation and ongoing joint projects. In order to be attractive for international establishment, we need to work even closer together. When we can showcase the joint competitive advantage, we can show this as a unique and favourable investment area.

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