Energy, Trade High on Agenda at U.S.-Nordic Summit
Energy, development, and trade were three of the main topics discussed last week by leaders of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States, as President Barack Obama hosted the U.S.-Nordic Summit at the White House.
In a joint statement released after the event, the United States and the Nordic countries supported the European Union goal of “increased diversification of supply sources and routes, increased indigenous and sustainable production, greater levels of interconnection, and enhanced energy efficiency.” They also expressed support for efforts of EU countries to establish more infrastructure to enhance the efficiency and to develop a more effective regulatory framework to promote energy security and support diversification of fuel types.
The participants also said they intend to promote an increase in their investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency and committed a total of $2.3 billion towards those aims.
The countries also plan on collaborating “to increase the deployment of offshore wind in the United States and Europe.” The Government of Denmark and the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen cooperation on offshore wind energy.
The United States and Nordic countries committed to work together to reduce international aviation’s climate impact through, among other things, development of sustainable alternative jet fuels.
The countries expressed support for the Power Africa initiative and committed to work together to provide technical assistance, financing, and other support to enable additional investment in energy projects throughout the region. Sweden and Norway and the U.S. are already involved in the initiative, contributing investments in renewable energy and off-grid and mini-grid efforts.
The countries committed to continue to advocate for economic freedom, open markets, and free trade. “The United States and the Nordic countries will continue to be a strong voice for open and sustainable trade and investments, and in particular commerce that embraces women’s economic empowerment, innovation, and new technology,” the joint statement said. “The United States and the Nordic countries will continue to show leadership in R&D, innovation, digitization, the provision of platforms for new technology, and the launch of start-ups, all of which create jobs, enhance competitiveness and pave the way for improving our businesses and societies.”
The countries “share the view that the multilateral trade system is crucial for the global economy.” “We also look forward to exploring ways to bolster trade and investment among the United States, Norway, and Iceland,” the statement said. “Deepening transatlantic ties through trade and investment is in our economic as well as our strategic interests.”
The conclusion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the countries concluded, “would lower barriers, create opportunities for small businesses, and boost economic growth and job creation through exports in the United States and Europe. It would also benefit the global economy and further increase economic integration.”