Speech at the official Parliament House luncheon in Canberra

Offentliggjort tirsdag d. 22. november 2011

Prime Minister, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Leader of the Opposition, Distinguished Ministers, Members of Parliament, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you, Madame Prime Minister, for your very warm words of welcome. I would also like to extend our thanks to the Honourable Mr. Tony Abbott, Leader of the Opposition, for his kind words. The Crown Princess and I are truly delighted to be back in Canberra. We have very fond memories from our last official visit here in 2005.

My wife, the Crown Princess, and I would sincerely like to thank you, Prime Minister, for inviting us to visit this magnificent country and for your great hospitality in hosting this luncheon at Parliament House.

We are extremely delighted and honoured to be here today. Australia holds a very special place in our hearts and we are proud to be able to contribute to a further deepening of the longstanding and warm relationship that exists between our two nations. 

Denmark and Australia share many of the same values, culture and interests which form a solid basis for successful cooperation and partnerships in many areas between our two countries.

The world has changed dramatically since our last official visit to Australia in 2005. We are experiencing a global financial crisis that is affecting most of the economies in the world.  We are seeing the challenge of climate change impacting the foundations of our world economy. We are recognising that a continuation of the old paradigm will limit future economic growth and have an effect on our ability to maintain and improve standards of living.

Climate change, scarcity of resources and a world population that continues to grow, make it unsustainable to continue business as usual. In fact, according to the UN statistics, world citizen number 7 billion was born in China just last month, and by the year 2050 we will be more than 9 billion people on earth.

We must acknowledge that a continuation of past decades’ growth is difficult to sustain. We need change. We need innovation. We need to work with our industries and businesses to find smart solutions, develop new regulatory frameworks and make research and development a priority.

We need to work towards independency from fossil fuels. Yet reducing our dependence on oil, gas and coal, requires the need to develop a framework for the use of alternative energy sources.

To achieve this goal the public and the private sectors must join forces to promote alternatives. With the latest technologies available, it is up to the governments and businesses to convert research and development into sustainable solutions.

Denmark is among the most energy efficient countries in the world. Since 1980, our economy has grown by almost 80 per cent, without any increase in energy consumption. Denmark is also a leader in the use of renewable energy; wind energy constitutes almost 20 per cent of our electricity production and all our household waste is converted into energy. As a result, Denmark has reduced its CO2 emissions by approximately 15 per cent since 1990.

The Danish companies who operate in Australia have made these changes possible. Within the field of sustainable solutions they are among the leading businesses in the world. They have developed world-class solutions in key sectors of mutual interest to Australia and Denmark.

Yesterday, Australian and Danish companies engaged in constructive business meetings in Sydney. They focused on the further development of commercial ties and the question of how technologies and competencies can be utilised to reach targets within wind energy generation and energy efficiency, sustainable urban planning, infrastructural development, green buildings, as well as food technology.

I am confident that Australian and Danish companies can be of substantial value to each other.

During our official visit to Australia a number of cultural activities will take place to illustrate Denmark’s approach to innovation, quality and green growth. I am confident that these activities will be an excellent opportunity to further develop the already very close cultural ties between our two countries.

In conclusion, Madame Prime Minister, the Crown Princess and I would like once again thank you and the Australian Government for inviting us to visit your wonderful country. We sincerely believe that this visit gives us the opportunity to further strengthen the already strong and rewarding relationship between Australia and Denmark.

Thank You.

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