Germany and Norway call for better coordination to protect energy infrastructure at sea
Clean Energy Wire
German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Norwegian prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre have called for better coordination among coastal states to protect critical energy and communication infrastructure at sea, and envision a crucial role for NATO. The “attacks” on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines had shown the risks for crucial pipelines, telephone cables and internet connections, said Scholz during a joint press conference. “Our goal must be to quickly achieve good, permanent and pragmatic international coordination among all relevant actors to protect this infrastructure and also to ensure a rapid response capability in case of emergency,” he said. NATO was “well-suited” for such a coordinated approach and the two leaders would ask NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg to set up “a coordination office for the protection of underwater infrastructure,” he added. Scholz said that, under such an initiative, Germany would contribute more to securing Norwegian infrastructure. “And we are already doing it.”
Støre called the underwater infrastructure “arteries of a modern economy” and said Germany and Norway have been in talks over how to strengthen their security. He said that the proposed office would help coordinate the work of civil and military actors and should drive private stakeholders to heighten security and prepare emergency plans. The likelihood of attacks to critical infrastructure – whether in the form of a physical or cyberattack – is being viewed with renewed attention in Germany following this summer’s explosions in the Nord Stream pipelines and infrastructure attacks against the railway group Deutsche Bahn.