On 25 June 2019 the newly formed government unveiled its political direction. The government's first line of action was to raise the bar for climate and environmental goals with the aim of making Denmark the world leader in the transition to renewable energy.
The government declared a climate crisis and pledged to take extensive measures to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. To ensure that Denmark can protect the climate and meet the terms of the Paris Agreement, the government has promised to reach the following goals:
- Enact a climate law with binding decarbonisation goals to reduce emissions by 70% by 2030 compared with the level in 1990.
- Convert the transportation sector to renewable energy.
- Lower the emission of greenhouse gases from agriculture.
- Agree on a climate action plan.
- Fight plastic pollution and secure better groundwater protection.
- Take responsibility for more ambitious goals in the European Union and strengthen green diplomacy.
- Increase biodiversity and the number of forests.
- Strengthen and evolve the ways in which climate change is calculated.
- Foster a green conversion in the Ministry of Finance.
- Raise ecology goals and increase efforts to minimise food waste.
- Involve interested parties to help secure a green conversion.
At the same time, the government will draft a new climate agreement following on from the energy agreement of 29 June 2018, which will set out goals to turn Denmark into a net-zero emissions society by 2050 at the latest and establish three new offshore wind farms (for further details please see "New energy agreement allocates Dkr19 billion for green energy").
The climate plan calls for a significant focus on the use of wind energy and the new agreement goes even further than the energy agreement, with plans for an offshore energy island with a capacity of at least 10GW.
The climate goals are far reaching and call for:
- widespread conversion to renewable energy;
- further research into renewable energy; and
- greater cooperation with the European Union.
Reaching these goals will require new methods and a broad electrification strategy.
The plan does not determine how the goals will be realised. A climate action plan will follow the new climate law and the Council on Climate Change will be involved in the drafting process.
One goal that requires concrete action is the conversion of the transportation sector.
To achieve a green transportation sector, the government is planning to stop the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2030. However, the electrical grid is not ready to support the complete transition to electric cars.
At present, there is no political strategy to prepare the grid for the electrification of cars and it is not much use to convert the transportation sector to renewable energy if consumers cannot access it conveniently and consistently.
To keep up with the current electrical need and with the same reliability of delivery, energy companies will need to invest Dkr29 billion in the electrical grid. According to research from the non-governmental organisation Dansk Energi, an additional investment of Dkr48 billion is needed to provide consumers with access to charge their cars at their convenience. Even if charging is made subject to restrictions so that 85% of charging must happen outside the grid's peak hours, an additional investment of Dkr32 billion will be needed.
To reach the ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70%, the government must now follow up its plans with action and set out how they will be financed. The coming months will hopefully reveal how the government intends to do this.
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