King Harald expressed concern about climate change when he and Queen Sonja met Chile’s President, Sebastian Piñera, in the capital, Santiago.
‘’Climate change is undoubtedly one of the greatest threats the world faces as we know it. We appreciate that Chile’s government has committed itself with reducing emissions’’ said the King during a speech at the Presidential Palace in Chile.
The king spoke, among other things, of Chile’s commitment to electric buses, and pointed out that the country is an important ally in the work of tackling global challenges and working for sustainable development.
Among the audience was Queen Sonja, Chile’s President, Sebastián Piñera, and his wife, Cecilia Morel. Earlier in the day, the Chilean presidential couple gave the Norwegian delegation a warm welcome on the sun deck outside the palace.
‘’Norway and Chile are in two different hemispheres of the globe, yet we are neighbours in Antarctica. We share so many different things’’ President Piñera said.
Pointed to the Vikings
The president pointed out that both Norway and Chile have long coastlines, that there are more similarities in nature and geography, and that both countries are major producers of salmon.
Both Norway and Chile are among the countries that claim areas in the Antarctic.
‘’Norway has always been a country of sailors. Ever since the Viking Age. And the Vikings also discovered America before Christopher Columbus’’ Piñera said.
The six-day state visit, which started on Wednesday, will, among other things, deal with marine management, Antarctica and climate. And precisely in these areas, the countries cooperate well, which the king also emphasised.
‘’Chile and Norway have a long history and common identity as Antarctic nations.
Our relationship with Antarctica reflects our country’s strong interest in discovering and exploring. But to an even greater extent, it reflects our strong political commitment to ensuring sustainable and peaceful management of Antarctica and the surrounding oceans through international cooperation’’ he said.
‘’The seas are threatened’’
Foreign Minister, Ine Eriksen Søreide of Høyre (H) accompanies the royal couple during the trip, and on behalf of Norway, on Wednesday she signed an ocean and climate declaration that Chile has initiated.
‘’Two-thirds of Norway’s export revenues come from the sea and coast-based industries. We are clearly aware of the need to find the right balance between the sustainable use of resources and the protection of the marine environment’’ said Søreide during a speech at a sea seminar in Santiago.
She pointed out that the challenges are great.
“The oceans are threatened by overfishing, the effects of climate change, loss of habitat and biodiversity, and from marine pollution – including from plastic” she said.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today