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Denmark’s climate footprint: Global cooperation outshines national emissions

As a rich, developed country, Denmark has a significant global footprint. However, the positive effects of global cooperation and green solutions abroad are far greater, concludes recent stocktaking of Denmark’s global climate footprint.
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By Magnus Højberg Mernild | [email protected]
29 April 2022

The Danish Government has established 50 agreements and earmarked more than EUR 12 billion towards green transition. Since 1990, the country has managed to reduce its greenhouse gas emission by 43% compared to 1990-levels.

While policies, industrial transition, and initiatives across the society have brought about substantial reductions, there is still way to go before achieving the national ambition of reaching a 70% reduction by 2030. Also, when it comes to Denmark’s global footprint.

In a new report (in Danish) published by the Danish Energy Agency, Denmark’s global footprint entailed by its national consumption and international trade was estimated at 63 million tonnes CO2e in 2020. The amount equals to roughly 11 tonnes CO2e per Dane.

While numbers highlight a need to further limit Denmark’s share of the global climate burden, the report concludes that the country’s global contributions far supersede its own footprint. More precisely, Denmark’s export of green solutions and technologies will reduce emissions by 119-215 million CO2e throughout their life span.

Related news: Denmark’s green contributions abroad far supersede the effects at home

A direct result of Denmark’s focus on global cooperation according to the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen:

“Denmark takes great responsibility for the global battle on climate change. With ambitious national policies, we seek to inspire global partners to follow suit. As such, we collaborate with 19 countries to shift their energy systems in a greener direction.”

The Climate Minister further adds that while knowledge sharing and global agreements help big emitters on their green transition, Denmark still needs to raise the bar and push for measures to reduce its national footprint.

Global Cooperation

The Centre for Global Cooperation is a part of the Danish Energy Agency. We share best practice from decades of green transition in Denmark through government-to-government cooperation to increase the speed of global green transition.

Learn more about Denmark's global energy cooperation

14 Climate Partnerships

Together with the private sector and leading business associations, the Danish Government in 2020 established 14 Climate Partnerships. As part of the Danish Climate Act, the 14 Climate Partnerships were tasked to present proposals on how individual sectors can contribute to reductions in a just way, supporting competitiveness, exports, jobs, welfare, and prosperity. Efforts have so far resulted in more than 400 recommendations. Many of which have contributed to the reported reductions.

Moving forward, the Climate Partnerships will expand its international track. International efforts will primarily look at how the Climate Partnership approach and general lessons from Denmark’s public-private partnerships approach may contribute on a global scale.

Efforts especially seek to support developing countries moving towards greener, more sustainable economies while providing tangible recommendations for heavy industries on how to reduce emissions.

Climate partnerships 2030

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent by 2030. This is the ambitious climate goal set by the Danish government. But how do we get there?

Building on the Danish tradition for public-private partnerships and recognising the private sector as a central actor, the Danish government has formed 14 climate partnerships. Each representing the different sectors in the Danish economy.

Learn more about Denmark’s 14 Climate Partnerships

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