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UN Special Envoy on Climate seeks advice from SINTEF and NTNU

From left: Gunnar Bovim (Rector, NTNU), Torstein Haarberg (Executive Vice President, SINTEF Materials and Chemistry), Jens Stoltenberg, Gabriella Tranell (Assistant Professor, NTNU), Edgar Hertwich (Professor, NTNU), Nils Røkke (Vice President, SINTEF). (Photo: Petter Haugan)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently appointed Norway's former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as one of two Special Envoys on Climate Change. The other one is Ghana's former Prime Minister John Kufuor. Mr. Stoltenberg combines this task with being a Member of Parliament and a Parliamentarian Leader for the Labor Party.

The most important task for the Special Envoys is to contribute to a new international agreement on climate change at the 2015 Climate Summit in Paris. In the period leading up to this summit Mr. Stoltenberg will work actively with political leaders in several countries.

On February 4, Mr. Stoltenberg met with a group of experts and executives from SINTEF and NTNU. The objective of the meeting was to establish contact with experts who can assist in relation to climate technologies.

During the meeting he was given presentations on solar energy, life cycle analysis for climate technologies, and carbon capture and storage (CCS). Most imminent, however, was to discuss how SINTEF and NTNU can contribute in Stoltenberg's work.

- As Special Envoys on Climate Change we will not publish reports or disseminate scientific knowledge as the UN Climate Panel does. However, in the dialogue with world leaders it is paramount to carry enough scientific weight to be credible. In this connection I need cooperation with leading scientific groups, Stoltenberg said at the meeting.

SINTEF's Vice President for Climate Technologies, Dr. Nils Røkke chaired the meeting. He characterizes the meeting as both interesting and fruitful. – We possess important knowledge, and it is very inspiring to be able to contribute in this important work, says Røkke.

During his CCS presentation for Stoltenberg, Dr. Røkke wore his NORDICCS hat – explaining how this work has resulted in a roadmap for CCS in the Nordic countries and how this knowledge and method can be used for a global roadmap for CCS. The overall concern from Mr. Stoltenberg was the paradox that CCS is clearly needed to reach our targets and still the deployment is slow. The discussions centered about the need for incentives, regulations and concessions for CCS to be deployed. The need for a level playing field for all low carbon energy is clearly needed and CCS is competitive if such conditions are established. As Mr. Stoltenberg was "grandfathering" the Top-Level- Research Initiative he expressed content with how we have addressed this in a centre activity that can lead to a lasting integration of the strong groups in NORDICCS. His staff will follow up towards SINTEF and NTNU and seek advice on special topics that arise in the period up to the COP meeting in Paris 2015. NORDICCS is prepared to be part in such a rapid response team.