Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg appealed to US president Donald Trump’s business instincts over the Paris Agreement in a press conference following a bilateral meeting at the White House.
During the White House press conference, Solberg rebuffed Trump’s claim that the Paris climate accord “would have taken away our competitive edge” as the two spoke in front of media.
“If I might just add that there are business opportunities in this,” Solberg said in response to the US president’s views on the Paris Agreement.
“As we talked about… because we have strict regulations on [how] to reach our Paris targets, that means that we have very strong policies for environmentally friendly and climate-friendly technologies, which is a small part of why the United States now have a surplus in the economy towards Norway,” the Norwegian PM continued.
“You should never miss up on a good environmental opportunity with good environmental standards,” Solberg concluded in what could be perceived as a mild rebuke to Trump for reversing the US signatory to the Paris Agreement.
Trump followed Solberg’s statement by praising Norway’s hydropower industry.
“One of the great assets of Norway is a thing called water,” Trump said
“I wish we’d do some of that. But hydropower is fantastic,” the US president added.
Trump also responded to a question from a Norwegian journalist by saying that his administration could consider a return to the Paris accord.
“Frankly, it’s an agreement that I have no problem with, but I had a problem with the agreement that they [the Obama administration, ed.] signed, because as usual they made a bad deal,” he said.
Solberg told Norwegian broadcaster NRK it was important to maintain good relations with the US administration.
“They are our closest allies within Nato. And the US is an important actor on the international stage,” she said.
The PM highlighted the attendance by other leading figures in the US government, including Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in the meeting with Trump, which she described as “good”.
Trump described Norway as a “good customer, ally and friend” prior to the meeting in the Oval Office on Wednesday, his first bilateral meeting with Norwegian leader Solberg.
The US President also said in the subsequent press conference that trade had been a more prominent topic than the environment in the talks between the two.