Autumn Conference 2021

The Autumn Conference took place in Oslo on 30 November 2021. See the video recordings of the event below.

This year’s conference focused on the energy system transition and how petroleum, renewables and low-carbon solutions can complement each other in solving the energy trilemma: Access and affordability, climate and environmental sustainability, and security of supply. The Autumn Conference is a joint event hosted by Equinor, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The conference was opened by the Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Marte Mjøs Persen. The speakers were IEA Executive Director, Dr Fatih Birol, Senior Advisor, Climate & Energy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Claire O’Neill, CEO Norges Bank Investment Management, Nicolai Tangen and CEO Equinor ASA, Anders Opedal. The conference was moderated by Dr Nashater Deu Solheim.

World Energy Outlook 2021—about the IEA

IEA's World Energy Outlook is among the world's most authoritative sources of projections and insight into trends in the global energy market. This year's edition was published on 13 October, and as usual key highlights from the report were presented at the Autumn Conference.

Programme 2021 



Jannik Lindbæk, Senior Vice President Communication, Equinor


Opening address

Marte Mjøs Persen, Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy


"World Energy Outlook 2021"

Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA, digital

10:15 Break

"The energy transition - our call to action"

Anders Opedal, President and CEO, Equinor

  Dialogue with Nicolai Tangen, CEO Norges Bank Investment Management

"After Glasgow - what now?"

Claire O'Neill, Senior Advisor for Climate & Energy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development


Panel session

Marte Mjøs Persen, Claire O'Neill and Anders Opedal

12:15  End of conference 

The speakers

Marte Mjøs Persen
Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy
Photo: NTB Kommunikasjon/Prime Minister's Office


Marte Mjøs Persen (b. 1975) was appointed Minister of Petroleum and Energy on 14 October 2021. She was elected to the Norwegian Parliament for the Labour Party from Hordaland county in 2021. Prior to this, she was Mayor of the city of Bergen (2015 – 2021).


Ms. Persen has worked as an organizational secretary in the Norwegian Humanist Association and county secretary in No to the EU in the former Hordaland county. She was leader of the Labor Party of Bergen from 2011 – 2015.


Ms. Persen has studied Comparative Literature and Sociology at the University of Bergen. She holds a BA in Cultural and Social Sciences.


Marte Mjøs Persen is married, has four children and lives in Bergen.

Dr Fatih Birol
Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA)
Photo: IEA


Dr Fatih Birol has served as Executive Director of the IEA since September 2015. Under his leadership, the IEA has undertaken its first comprehensive modernisation programme since its creation in 1974. This effort focuses on three pillars: opening the doors of the IEA to include major emerging countries, broadening the IEA’s energy security mandate, and making the IEA the global hub for clean energy technologies and energy efficiency.


Prior to his nomination as Executive Director, Dr Birol spent over 20 years at the IEA, rising through the ranks to the position of Chief Economist. Dr Birol has been named by Forbes Magazine as among the most influential people on the world’s energy scene and was recognized by the Financial Times in 2017 as Energy Personality of the Year. He chairs the World Economic Forum’s (Davos) Energy Advisory Board and serves on the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on ‘Sustainable Energy for All’.

Claire O’Neill
Senior Advisor, Climate & Energy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development


Claire Perry O’Neill served as a UK Member of Parliament for Devizes from 2010, was a Government Whip and Minister for Rail before becoming Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth.  Claire wrote and implemented the UK’s Clean Growth and Green Finance Strategies, created the global Powering Past Coal Alliance, oversaw the deployment of £3 billion of international Climate Finance and £200 million of cleantech innovation funding, negotiated the world’s first public-private Offshore Wind Sector Deal and led the UK Carbon Capture and Storage taskforce.  In 2019 she brought forward the country’s ground-breaking Net Zero legislation and led the UK’s winning bid to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).  She served as COP26 President-Designate until she left politics in 202



Claire is now Senior Advisor for Climate & Energy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. WBCSD has been the leading voice for business sustainability for over 25 years and is a global CEO-led organisation representing a combined revenue of over $8 trillion and 19 million employees.  She has several non-executive Director roles and serves as a Senior Advisor to FTI Consulting and Public Policy Projects.


Claire grew up in the UK, studied Geography at Oxford University followed by an MBA at Harvard Business School and had a transatlantic career in consultancy and finance before entering politics.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and the Energy Institute. 

Nicolai Tangen
Norges Bank Investment Management
Photo: Norges Bank Investment Management

Nicolai Tangen is responsible for the management of the Government Pension Fund Global. This includes the daily operation and the development of Norges Bank Investment Management.


Tangen joined Norges Bank Investment Management as Chief Executive Officer on 1 September 2020. 


Tangen was previously Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer in AKO Capital, which he founded in 2005. He also set up the AKO Foundation in 2013, which supports charitable initiatives to improve education, promote the arts and mitigate climate problems. Prior to this, Tangen was a partner and senior analyst at Egerton Capital and an equity analyst at Cazenove & Co.


Tangen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in finance from the Wharton School and Master’s Degrees in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art and in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics. He has also studied Russian at the Norwegian Armed Forces’ School of Intelligence and Security.

Anders Opedal
President & CEO, Equinor ASA
Photo: Arne Reidar Mortensen, Equinor


Anders Opedal joined Equinor in 1997 as a petroleum engineer in the Statfjord operations.


Since then, he has held a range of technical, operational and leadership positions in the company.


From 2007 to 2010, he served as Chief Procurement Officer. In 2011, he took on the role as Senior Vice President in Technology, Projects and Drilling; where he was responsible for Equinor’s NOK 300 billion project portfolio.


Anders Opedal also served as Equinor’s Chief Operating Officer before taking the role as Senior Vice President for Development, Production International Brazil.


From August 2018 to October 2018 , he was Executive Vice President for Development, Production Brazil.


From 2018 to 2020, Anders held a position as Executive Vice President Technology, Projects and Drilling.


Prior to Equinor, he worked for Schlumberger and Baker Hughes.


Education: MBA from Heriot-Watt University and Master's degree in Engineering (sivilingeniør) from the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH) in Trondheim.