Denmark pledges 40% carbon reduction by 2020, creates Climate Council

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19 February 2014

LONDON: A landmark decision by the Danish parliament has resulted in ambitious climate targets being enshrined in law, highlighting how individual states can accelerate progress towards a low carbon, competitive and vibrant economy.

The Social Democrats, the lead member of Denmark's ruling coalition, along with the Conservative People’s Party, Socialist People’s Party and the Red-Green Alliance, have committed to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. To date, adjusted CO2 emissions from the country have been cut by 28.4%, data from the Danish Energy Agency reveals.

Under the new law all future Danish governments will be obliged to set national targets to decrease greenhouse gas emissions every five years.

This legally binding guarantee is supplemented by the creation of a Climate Council, an independent body which will advise the Scandinavian state on best practice regarding fossil fuel reduction. The Council will also monitor the Danish Government’s implementation of their climate policy to ensure that the sustainability targets are met.

Renewable energy prioritized

These positive developments represent another step towards Denmark’s original goal of 100% renewable energy consumption by 2050. Indeed, the Danish Energy Agency has reported that renewables amounted to 25.8% of energy consumption in 2012.

Furthermore, the state is the only country in Europe which is currently a net exporter of energy, and has an energy dependence rate for 2012 of -3.4%, recent Eurostat figures show.

The parliament’s proactive decision comes just weeks after the EU28 committed to a new goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels, as well as a binding target for 27% of the EU's energy consumption to come from renewables by 2030.

By Alana Ryan

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