Danish lawmakers have struck a climate agreement to ensure their country could live up to a goal of cutting carbon emissions by 70 percent from 1990 levels over the coming decade.
The deal, which was reached on Sunday after winning broad backing across party lines, means Denmark would commit to cutting carbon emissions by 3.4 million tonnes.
Lawmakers also agreed to build the world’s first energy islands, while investments would be made in carbon capture and greener fuels, the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy said in a statement on its Web site.
“This agreement shows the rest of the world that climate action and economic reconstruction go hand in hand,” the ministry said.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said it was still not clear that the new deal would guarantee that Denmark could reach its goal of cutting emissions by 70 percent.
That is why “we must invest, innovate and research, so we can develop the technologies and solutions that will significantly reduce emissions,” she said in a speech yesterday.
Denmark’s climate goals put it on a more ambitious path than the EU, which targets cutting carbon emissions by 40 percent in 2030.
However, the Nordic country still has a long road ahead of it, with the Danish Energy Agency last week saying that emissions would only be down by 44 percent in the next decade, unless extra measures are imposed.
The deal was crucial to underpinning the prime minister’s credibility. Frederiksen’s Social Democratic government last year ousted a center-right coalition after promising voters more investments in renewable energy.
Denmark has blazed a trail for embracing climate-friendly policies, and its long-standing program of supporting green technologies has resulted in some of the world’s biggest companies in the field. It is now home to the world’s biggest turbine maker, Vestas Wind Systems A/S, and to Orsted A/S, the world’s biggest operator of offshore wind parks.
The Confederation of Danish Industry, which represents 11,700 companies, said it was happy with the new climate deal.
“This is a good and important agreement, which also builds on the major work and the many concrete recommendations from climate partnerships within the business community, and is completely in line with our 2030 plan for green growth,” CEO Lars Sandahl Sorensen said in a statement.
Other details of the agreement include making it cheaper to consume renewable forms of heating and costlier to use fossil fuels, the ministry said.
Private oil and gas ovens are to be phased out,, and replaced with more environmentally friendly alternatives, it said.
Electric vehicles are to get more recharging stations, while a raft of measures would ensure that industry shifts to more energy-efficient solutions, the ministry said.
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