Visit to ArcelorMittal with Norwegian prime minister
Belgium and Norway to cooperate more closely on cross-border transport and storage of CO2
Today Prime Ministers Alexander De Croo and Jonas Gahr Støre met at ArcemorMittal in Ghent to strengthen cooperation between Belgium and Norway on climate, energy and industrial transformation. Ahead of the North Sea Summit in Ostend, the prime ministers stressed the importance of long-term cooperation between Norway and Belgium based on shared values and interests.
The meeting was attended by ministers Vincent Van Quickenborne, Tinne Van der Straeten and Terje Aasland, as well as key Belgian and Norwegian energy and industry stakeholders such as ArcelorMittal, Equinor, Engie, Fluxys and North Sea Port.
Transport and storage of CO2
Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium: "Cross-border cooperation is necessary to make carbon capture and storage (CCS) an effective measure to combat climate change. I look forward to further expanding our close cooperation with Norway on CCS. Our aim is to formalise a bilateral agreement on cross-border transport and permanent storage of CO2 as soon as possible."
A Memorandum of Understanding (MuO) on cooperation in offshore wind, hydrogen and CCS was signed in February 2022.
Today's meeting is an important next step. It is necessary to develop sustainable technologies and markets essential to accelerate the green transition to 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050A key objective of the MoU is the drafting of a bilateral agreement between Belgium and Norway. The federal government of Belgium, the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region have now started formal negotiations with Norway to conclude such an agreement.
Formal negotiations started
Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister Norway: "I am pleased that formal negotiations have started on a bilateral agreement on cross-border transport and storage of CO2 between our countries. Closer cooperation on CCS, offshore wind and hydrogen is important for achieving our climate goals. I am confident that we will finalise the bilateral agreement very soon."
Carbon capture and storage will be one of the measures to decarbonise specific industries and mitigate climate change. With the start of negotiations, Belgium and Norway are taking a crucial first step in promoting cross-border carbon value chains. Once the bilateral agreement is signed and in force, carbon can be transported from the Flemish and Walloon regions to Norway for permanent geological storage on the Norwegian continental shelf.