HRH The Crown Princess' speech at Green Transition Summit

Palo Alto, USA

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Honourable Lieutenant Governor,
Honourable Mayor,
Nobel laureates,
Ladies and gentlemen,

My husband and I are delighted to once again visit the San Francisco Bay Area. During our days here we – and the entire Swedish delegation – have received a very warm Californian welcome.

This is our last day before heading back home to a wintery Sweden. And we are very happy to be able to spend the final hours of this official visit highlighting one very important and urgent topic: the green transition.

Some may wonder if meeting in a room like this is the best idea to accelerate change. Personally, I am convinced it is more important than ever. We live in a world with wars and conflicts on the rise. We live in a world with polarising messages. In challenging times like this we must meet eye to eye. Because let’s not forget that we all share the responsibility for the future. This is a mission that unites us all, wherever we are.

Working together to accelerate the green transition and move towards a sustainable and secure future is not only important – it is of the utmost necessity. It is the greatest challenge of our time.

Ladies and gentlemen,

During our days here we have once again seen firsthand that the United States and Sweden are world-leading innovators, and it is by embracing the opportunities we’re given that we will secure our future global competitiveness.

One topic that has been vividly discussed in different forums here during our visit, is artificial intelligence and how it affects the world and us.

AI has been dreamed about, researched, and worked upon by pioneers since the 50’s and it has been used in narrow fields and for specific tasks for a long time.

But what many find so fascinating about the era we are in right now is that - just like our biological intelligence - artificial intelligence is becoming more and more general.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen AI models start to understand and pass math exams and diagnose cancer. We’ve seen them generate text, write code, render images and speech. They are truly becoming more and more general, and the pace of progress only seems to increase.

We’ve seen AI solve some of science's most long-standing challenges – like predicting how proteins fold. It used to take a PhD student many years just to crystallize and figure out how a single protein would fold. This problem is now basically solved and can be done for any protein in seconds.

Similarly, another AI model has gone through millions of potential materials to predict hundreds of thousands of new stable materials that do not exist yet, saving an estimated 800 years of research for the same materials to be discovered in the normal way. These materials may result in humanity finding super conductors, more efficient batteries, solar cells etcetera hundreds of years earlier than we otherwise would have. This might help us greatly in our fight to save the planet.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Only 10 years ago, not even the most optimistic scientists could dream about this development.

Handled correctly, the new technology may bring us to a greater future in wide ranging areas.

At the same time, many are worried about AI’s fast development. And yes, there are difficult questions related to AI that we need to address.

Nonetheless, it has been very interesting to listen to the many reflections on AI during the last couple of days. What I take with me is that – used right and not handled carelessly – artificial intelligence may be of help in advancing the green transition.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Many of you represent companies and organisations that are leading the way in new technology development. Some of you are also leaders in areas that will be key for a sustainable transformation - such as power, transport, industrial production, and tech. Your role in the green shift is more important than ever.

Having listened to many of you during the last days, my impression is that companies are not primarily concerned about the green transition going too fast, but rather about it going too slow.

From a Swedish perspective there are many reasons to be proud. The extensive green industrialisation currently taking place in northern Sweden holds enormous potential in areas such as fossil-free steel and battery technologies. This rapid transformation is also happening in many other sectors.

I am also proud to see that we have many of our leading Swedish companies on stage and in the audience today. You represent sectors ranging from sustainable transport solutions, ICT, energy efficient industry, the power sector, and others. I know many of your companies have been instrumental in pushing the green transformation in Sweden and in the EU. I am convinced that you will also be great partners to California and the US in the green transformation here.

The challenges of climate change are global and require cooperation across borders. The discussions that are taking place today pave the way for an even deeper collaboration between US and Swedish companies.

I am pleased that Sweden and the United States, and Sweden and the State of California, continue to strengthen our partnerships. It is essential that our governments in close collaboration with business stakeholders, academia and civil society continue to promote green solutions.

I am certain that the new Swedish Consulate-General in San Francisco, that I had the honour to inaugurate earlier this week, will help facilitate the important partnership between our countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Finally, I want to thank you all for coming here today. I hope you will have fruitful discussions and exchange ideas on how we can accelerate the green transition and meet the challenges of today and tomorrow – together, for a greener future.

Thank you.