Alexander De Croo (the prime minister of Belgium), Mark Rutte (the prime minister of the Netherlands), Xavier Bettel (the prime minister of Luxembourg), Emmanuel Macron (the president of France), Olaf Scholz (the chancellor of Germany), Leo Varadkar (the prime minister of Ireland), Jonas Gahr Store (the prime minister of Norway), Rishi Sunak (the prime minister of the United Kingdom), and Mette Frederiksen (the prime minister of Denmark), writing at Politico:

We need offshore wind turbines — and we need a lot of them. We need them to reach our climate goals, and to rid ourselves of Russian gas, ensuring a more secure and independent Europe. Held for the first time last year, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands came together for the inaugural North Sea Summit in the Danish harbor town of Esbjerg, setting historic goals for offshore wind with the Esbjerg Declaration. It paved the way for making the North Seas a green power plant for Europe, as well as a major contributor to climate neutrality and strengthening energy security.

This Monday, nine countries will meet for the next North Sea Summit — this time in the Belgian town of Ostend — where France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway and the United Kingdom will also put their political weight behind developing green energy in the North Seas, including the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish and Celtic Seas. Together, we will combine and coordinate our ambitions for deploying offshore wind and developing an offshore electricity grid, putting Europe on the path toward a green economy fueled by offshore green power plants. Collectively, our target for offshore wind in the North Seas is now 120 gigawatts by 2030, and a minimum of 300 gigawatts by 2050 — larger than any of the co-signatories’ existing generation capacity at a national level. And to deliver on this ambition, we are committing to building an entire electricity system in the North Seas based on renewable energy by developing cooperation projects.

This is a massive undertaking and a true example of the green transition in the making. It also requires huge investments in infrastructure, both offshore and on land. It presents us with a political and environmental dilemma as well: We are facing a climate crisis at the same time some of our ecosystems are in decline, and offshore wind is an integral part of both climate action and safeguarding our energy security. Thus, time is of the essence, and we must follow up on the progress already made on reining in the burden of bureaucracy for renewable projects.