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Denmark Is About To Set Even More Ambitious Climate Goals Than All Of Europe

World  (tags: government, politics, world, climate change, greenhouse gases, global warming, Denmark, goodnews, environment, pollution )

- 1858 days ago -
Agreement in Denmark's parliament this week cleared the way for passage of climate targets that would outstrip the recent goals set by the European Union.


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Michael O (176)
Saturday February 15, 2014, 5:42 am
The bill would establish a legally binding requirement that Denmark cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990′s levels by 2020, and that the government return to the question every five years to set new 10-year targets. The legislation would also establish a Climate Council — modeled on a similar body in Britain — to advise the government on the best ways to continue reducing Denmark’s reliance on fossil fuels.

The bill is backed by the Social Democrats, the Conservative People’s Party, the Socialist People’s Party, and the Red-Green Alliance.

Denmark’s present and former governments have already committed the country to a goal of 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2050, and the new bill is seen as a concrete step to achieving that goal.

“This is a law to make Denmark low carbon society by 2050,” Mattias Soderberg, a senior climate advisor at DanChurchAid, a humanitarian organization in Denmark, told Responding to Climate Change. “With this law Denmark is starting to outline how this process will be done.”

A 40 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2020 is on par with carbon emission cuts the National Research Council advised America to take on in 2010. It’s also noticeably more ambitious than the target the European Parliament recently passed to cut emissions 40 percent cut below 1990 levels by 2030 for the European Union as a whole.

The broader EU target remains non-binding until its approved by the government’s of the individual countries that make up the group. And debate remains on exactly how the target should be divvied up amongst the member states. So Denmark moving forward with more ambitious cuts at the individual level would put it ahead of the curve set by most of its peers on the Continent.

Denmark is also part of the Emissions Trading System (ETS), Europe’s cap-and-trade system for cutting carbon emissions, which will likely serve as the main driver of both Denmark’s reductions and the EU’s as a whole. Unfortunately, the unexpected drop in economic activity due to the 2008 recession, as well as some inherent design flaws, have driven the price of carbon permits under the ETS to remarkable lows. That removed the incentive for firms in Europe to cut their carbon emissions, leaving the entire system stalled in limbo.

The ETS’ problems have served as a learning experience for other, newer cap-and-trade systems like California’s. And reforms are in the works in the EU to get the ETS back on its feet.

Meanwhile, Denmark has already been making substantial progress on the climate front. According to numbers Responding to Climate Change pulled from the Danish Energy Agency, renewable energy accounted for 43.1 percent of Denmark’s domestic electricity supply in 2012, and for 25.8 percent of all energy consumption in the country that year. Renewables provided 23.1 percent of the electricity Denmark consumed in 2011.

Ben O (135)
Saturday February 15, 2014, 5:48 am
Way to go, Denmark! The goals set by the European Union is a bloody joke...

Past Member (0)
Saturday February 15, 2014, 6:19 am
Clever Danish people (if not at the zoo :-(
In Germany, they don't give a damn anymore of our Energiewende we've been fighting so hard for... it's all sabotaged :-((

Freya H (345)
Saturday February 15, 2014, 7:43 am
Way to go, Denmark! Now if only y'all would quit murdering giraffes.

Michael O (176)
Saturday February 15, 2014, 7:58 am
Meanwhile, here in Canada, our Fearless Leader won't even mention a cap-and-trade system, much less putting a price on carbon emissions, except to vilify opposition leaders who would dare to suggest such a horrible thing that would place restrictions on his beloved oil companies.

Memo to Stephen Harper: Canada needs 21st century ideas, not 19th century ones.

Roseann d (178)
Saturday February 15, 2014, 8:49 am
Overshadowed by their heinous treatment of snimals.

Past Member (0)
Saturday February 15, 2014, 12:50 pm
Sounds divine--except i'm thoroughly unimpressed with their animal welfare track record. Thx Michael

Gloria p (304)
Sunday February 16, 2014, 10:16 pm
I am a little tired of Danish news this week.

Ana MESNER (201)
Sunday February 16, 2014, 11:11 pm
Thank you - now you can do something about animals ( Zoo, dolphin slaughter....)

Robert O (12)
Monday February 17, 2014, 12:10 am
Thanks Michael.

Marija M (25)
Tuesday February 18, 2014, 1:47 am
good news, tks

Thomas Clother (19)
Tuesday February 18, 2014, 8:43 am
Thanks for posting, Michael, heartening news. Good to see that all the main parties are supporting the proposals, so there is less chance of some no nothing populist attempting the 'lower your electricity bills by burning the planet' stance.......................which is the situation here in the UK, with Conservatives, UKIP, some Libdems being anti renewable energy generation. A good portion of the UK Labour Party are pretty ignorant when it comes to climate change, too, unfortunately. Their leader, Ed Milliband seems to be waking up to global warming though, hopefully he will spread the message wider.
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