Norway & California Sign Agreements to Further Climate Collaboration

US Norway California

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway visited California and on April 16 oversaw the signing of two climate change agreements with Governor Gavin Newson.

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) advances climate collaboration. The MOU outlines four years of cooperation between California and Norway on clean energy, zero-emission transportation and ports, carbon removal and climate-smart agriculture. The text of the MOU can be found here.

The two delegations also signed a joint statement highlighting the new areas of climate collaboration, existing work on economic development and continued partnership on criminal justice and prison reform. The text of the joint statement can be found here.

Governor Gavin Newsom and Norway Minister of Trade Jan Christian Vestre conclude their signing of a joint statement on the new Norway-California memorandum of understanding. Behind them at right is His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway. At left is David Hochschild, chair of the California Energy Commission.

CalChamber Attended

Representing the California Chamber of Commerce at the signing was Susanne Stirling, CalChamber vice president for international affairs.

Dee Dee Myers, senior advisor and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) welcomed the approximately 50 dignitaries to the Larkspur Ferry Terminal — home to one of the world’s first clean hydrogen fuel cell passenger ferries.

Speaking next, Jan Christian Vestre, Norway’s Minister of Trade, said: “Norway’s excellent relations with the U.S., and with California, go way back. But today we are taking it a step further, teaming up to accelerate the pace of the green transition. This MOU will formalize our cooperation in several areas where we share the same goals, where our policies and ambitions for net-zero solutions overlap and where our industries and expertise — our opportunities and needs — complement each other.”

Governor Newsom said: “From Oakland to Oslo, we’ve seen the worsening impacts of the climate crisis firsthand. But we also know that these challenges bring a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform our economies to work for everyone. That’s why California and Norway — world leaders on climate action — are joining forces to tackle the crisis of our time together.”

Also signing the MOUs was David Hochschild, chair of the California Energy Commission. Liane Randolph, chair of the California Air Resources Board, also attended.

The Norwegian side included the Norwegian Consul General to San Francisco, Mrs. Gry Rabe Henriksen. On the previous day, April 15, Innovation Norway, in collaboration with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norwegian Energy Partners (Team Norway) held a Business Festival to promote economic ties between Norway and California.

Trade Statistics

Norway is located in Northern Europe and is a part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The majority of the country shares a border with Sweden on the east and its northernmost region is bordered by Finland. With a population of more than 5.4 million, covering 323,802 square kilometers, Norway is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe.

Norway has one of the most financially healthy economies in the world, in part due to its status as one of the world’s largest exporters of crude oil and natural gas. Other major industries, such as shipping, shipbuilding, fishing and fish farming, information technology, pulp and paper products, and light metals processing have prospered as well. Incomes are also more evenly distributed, making every person a consumer. Unemployment rates and interest rates are low.

Norway has close ties to the United States. The overall economic and trade relationship is strong, and Norway’s import climate is generally open and receptive to U.S. products and investments.

Top U.S. exports include oil and gas, transportation equipment, chemicals, petroleum and coal products, and computer and electrical products.

Imports from Norway to the United States include petroleum and coal products, primary metals, chemicals, and fish and other marine products.

In 2023, California exported $206 million to Norway. Top exports included: computer and electrical products, transportation equipment, beverages, tobacco products, and agricultural products.

Likewise, Norway exported nearly $551 million to California. Top exports from Norway to California included: livestock and livestock products, chemicals, and fish and other marine products.

Norway and California are both west coast economies with beautiful coastlines. Approximately 400,000 individuals of Norwegian descent live in California.

The University of California at Berkeley has strong ties with Norway via the Peder Sather Center for Advanced Study. Peder Sather (1810–1886) was a prominent Norwegian-born American banker who is best known for his legacy to UC Berkeley. His widow donated funding in his memory for two of the school’s most famous landmarks, Sather Gate and Sather Tower (more commonly known as the Campanile). The Norwegian Consulate in San Francisco opened in 1906.

Staff Contact: Susanne T. Stirling