Denmark Blazing the Trail with “Energy Islands”
In the week following Denmark’s announcement that Parliament has passed a new Climate Act, enshrining in law a 70% emission reduction target by 2030, Parliament has also concluded a landmark agreement to create “Energy Islands”.
The Climate Act
A report by the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities noted that a new Climate Act has passed through the Danish Parliament, with 8 out of the 10 parties supporting the proposal. By creating a new framework for Danish climate policy, the Scandinavian country is set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% compared to 1990 by 2030, beating the targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement.
With the new Race to Zero campaign set to encourage countries to meet their targets, which has proved challenging in the past, Denmark is taking the lead in the progress towards a cleaner future.
The legislation will establish an impressive mechanism that integrates a 5-year cycle designed to ensure early action and establish ambitious reduction targets. These legally binding targets, enshrined in the countries law, are facilitating Denmark’s leadership towards emissions reduction.
Leading by example
Alongside this new framework, Denmark is pursuing its annual Climate Action Plan, which requires emission reduction within all sectors from agriculture to transportation. The government’s upcoming 2020 Climate Action Plan will additionally be setting an indicative milestone target for 2025.
“It is our aspiration to lead the way by example and hopefully inspire others around the world to follow. The Act is also a testament to the crucial role of the public at large in the momentous transformation to a sustainable society. Even though the law was passed today with a huge political majority, we really couldn’t have done this without the broad and passionate support among ordinary Danes, and of course civil society that helped set things in motion,” says the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen.
Yesterday, the latest development in Denmark’s mission towards net zero came as the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities published another report that detailed the coalition of 171 of 179 members of the Danish Parliament “concluding a landmark climate agreement”.
The agreement will, most importantly, quadruple their offshore wind energy capacity by 2030 through creating ‘energy islands’ which will act as hubs connecting windfarms. These new energy islands are set to meet the energy demand of 7.7m European households.
Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Mr. Dan Jørgensen said:
“By creating the world’s first two energy islands and by investing in sustainable fuels, we are making a crucial contribution to the international fight against climate change. I hope that this agreement will show other nations that climate action and economic recovery goes hand-in-hand. I am thrilled that we have concluded this agreement and would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the parties behind it.”
In addition, this new agreement will improve investments in the development of carbon capture technology and sustainable e-fuels. It also sets out to transform the heating sector through lowering taxes on renewables, in addition to providing funding for EV charging stations and includes plans to decarbonise the industrial sector through energy efficiency measures and increasing the use of renewable energy.
Minister for Finance, Mr. Nicolai Wammen stated:
“By concluding this agreement, Denmark has proved itself to be a global leader in the green energy transition. Moreover, it paves the way for a green economic recovery by funding some of the greatest infrastructure investments on record. By creating the world’s first energy islands, we are now entering a new era of renewable energy production.
Concurrently we will invest in sustainable fuels, a sustainable heating sector and help decarbonize the industrial sector. I am extremely proud that we have managed to conclude a broad-based agreement that not only moves Denmark closer to reaching our national climate goal, but also creates numerous jobs in the years to come.”