The Prime Minister’s speech at the launch of Danish-American”Green Partnership”, 31 May 2012
Check against delivery.
Thank you for your kind words of introduction, Mr. Speaker
Madame Secretary of State, ministers, ambassador, business leaders, ladies and gentlemen,
Let me start by thanking the American Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of Danish Industry and the US Embassy for organizing this event today.
I am very pleased to launch this important joint US-Danish Partnership on green growth with Secretary Clinton. We are launching a partnership between dedicated business people and two Governments sharing a common vision of a more sustainable, secure and prosperous future.
The purpose of our “Green Partnership” is to increase bilateral green investments and innovation. And to improve the cooperation between the public and private sectors to advance energy efficient solutions and renewable energy technologies.
Everybody in this room knows what is at stake. The climate is changing. The world’s natural resources are becoming scarce. The global population is growing bigger. In short, we are facing some of the greatest challenges of our lifetime.
Looking ahead, 3 billion additional middle class consumers are likely to have joined us in 2030. They will rightly demand their fair share of the world’s resources.
Our growth and consumption patterns are unsustainable in the long run. Therefore, Governments and the private sector must work together to facilitate green growth.
The good news is that green growth is not only necessary. It is also more efficient as it takes into account the natural capital that we are all so dependent on. And because green growth focuses on improving the ways in which we use natural resources.
Green growth is about replacing fossil fuels with renewable alternatives, improving energy efficiency, improving water management, making agricultural production more efficient, reducing food waste, and promoting more effective urban planning.
Green growth also minimizes the need for subsidies and spurs growth and innovation.
The arguments are compelling. But the transition to a green economy will not be easy. It will require determined leadership and action. That is exactly what our green partnership is all about.
I firmly believe that green growth is possible. Denmark has demonstrated that economic growth does not necessarily lead to an increasing use of resources. During the past three decades, the Danish economy has grown significantly while energy consumption has remained virtually constant.
Presently, about one third of the energy generated in Denmark comes from renewable sources. My Government’s ambitious goal is that Denmark’s energy consumption will be 100% renewable by 2050.
But Denmark cannot solve these challenges alone. We rely on strong international partnerships. In this regard, the US is one of our closest and most important partners.
Not only does the US market provide the world’s largest amount of investments in clean energy technologies. The US is also a key driver of development and innovation in the field of green technologies.
10 % of Danish exports already come from the field of green tech solutions. We see great potential in the US market.
Governments strongly rely on the private sector. To ensure financing of the green transition, but also as a driver for innovation.
This is also the focus of the Global Green Growth Forum, which my Government launched last year, as well as the US led Clean Energy Ministerial.
I am pleased to note the extensive cooperation on energy which has already been established between the Global Green Growth Forum, the Danish Ministry for Climate, Energy and Building, the US Department of Energy and the Clean Energy Ministerial. This is a strong example of how we are working together.
The Green Partnership that we are launching today adds to our efforts to facilitate a green transition. Both American and Danish companies are world leaders in many clean tech technologies.
The more we cooperate; the more we exchange and integrate knowledge. The more we share ideas, the better we will become at pursuing new avenues for green growth. I am sure that this partnership will further develop the already substantial trade and investment relations between our two countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Green Partnership that we are launching today is for me yet another proof of the strong political and commercial ties between the United States and Denmark.
I am grateful to you, Madame Secretary, and to all the business representatives who are here today - willing to drive this cooperation forward. I am convinced that the next industrial revolution will be green. Let us work together to make this happen.
Now, allow me to pass the floor to the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Thank you.