Crown Prince Haakon of Norway has opened the Norwegian Norfund conference in Oslo. The Crown Prince was welcomed to the conference by Oslo’s Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Board of Norfund, Olaug Svarva. COVID-19 and climate challenges were the backdrop for this year’s conference.
In front of 80 parliamentary representatives, business leaders and environmental and social activists, the Crown Prince spoke about how the effects of both the coronavirus pandemic and climate change hit vulnerable countries the hardest. The conference was also streamed to viewers around the world, including audiences in Maputo, London and Boston.
In his opening speech, the Crown Prince addressed the pandemic. His Royal Highness said: “The pandemic has hit the world hard. And like the pandemic, climate change has, and will, also hit us hard. It will affect us in different ways, but as so often before, it is the most vulnerable that pay the highest price.”
The Crown Prince, who last year visited Tonga, Fiji and Samoa, shared some of his own experiences where he had seen how climate change is already having a great effect in several places in the world. The Crown Prince emphasized the importance of investing in renewables when working to raise the standard of living in developing countries.
The Crown Prince said: “Lack of energy is one of the biggest barriers when working to lift countries and people out of poverty. To overcome this barrier, at the same time, as the world must reduce its carbon footprint, one must invest in renewables. One of the things COVID-19 has taught us is that global crisis knows no boundaries. We are all in this together, and we have to solve the problems and dilemmas together.”
Norfund is a Norwegian state-owned investment company whose purpose is to contribute to economic growth, employment, skills development and technology transfer to developing countries. Norfund is headquartered in Oslo, with local offices in Thailand, Mozambique, Costa Rica, South Africa and Kenya.