Environment ministers from countries bordering on the North Sea have called upon the oil and gas industries to recognise the market potential of offshore wind energy and to further co-operation with the sector by sharing information, technology and infrastructure. The statement was part of a declaration from a North Sea conference, which was held in Bergen, Norway, in late March. Offshore wind was stressed heavily by the ministers, who wrote about its "potential to make a significant contribution to tackling the problems of climate change." A number of points were also made to take account of environmental and nature-conservation issues in developing offshore. The ministers called upon the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic (OSPAR) and the EU to work together to develop a comprehensive set of criteria to assist local authorities when deciding on offshore wind development applications, along with a description of best available techniques for the location, construction, operation and removal of offshore wind energy plants.