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Denmark’s trajectory aligns with national climate targets

Denmark's is closer to reaching it's climate targets. The annual Danish Climate Status and Projection projects Denmark to reach a 55.5% reduction in CO2 emission by 2025, as well as being closer to reaching a 70% reduction by 2030.

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Denmark's green transition

Like many countries, Denmark was once entirely dependent on imported fossil fuels.

But since 1980, Denmark has managed to decouple its economic growth from its overall energy consumption, by investing in renewable energy, water, energy efficiency, and resource optimisation.

Today, Denmark aims to become a global green frontrunner, fostering green partnerships and nurturing innovative solutions along the way.

Learn more about Denmark's green transition

Denmark is on the right track to reach its 2025 climate goal, while also being closer to reaching its 2030 targets.

This is concluded in the latest Climate Status and Projection (KF) for 2024, the annual Danish estimation of how CO2e emissions will develop towards 2035 based on existing agreements and initiatives. According to the projection, Denmark is expected to reduce its emissions by approximately 68 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. In comparison, the Climate Law Agreement of 2019 anticipated a reduction of 45 percent of emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Additionally, the projection shows that the 2025 target of reaching a 50-54 percent reduction of emission is expected to be met with a reduction of approximately 55.5 percent.

Related news: Another record-breaking year for solar and wind power in Denmark

“With the new climate projection, we expect to meet the 2025 target. At the same time, we are well on our way towards the 2030 target. The CO2 reductions are the result of ambitious agreements and a broad political responsibility for climate action together with ongoing better knowledge of the emissions. We must not take our foot off the accelerator, because we are neither at the finish line nor sure that there won’t be a detour or two along the way,”

says Lars Aagard, Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities.

In particular, the green transition of the energy sector, will drive the reduction of CO2e emissions across other sectors towards 2030. Electricity and district heating are to become greener, and with the phase-out of the remaining coal power plants, a 100 percent renewable energy share is estimated by 2029. Similarly, the ongoing reduction of Danish gas consumption combined with increased biogas production will lead to an estimated 100 percent green gas supply from 2029. This development supports the electrification of the Danish society with increased incentives for electric cars and trucks, heat pumps, and electric-based solutions within the business sector as well as the transportation sector.

The reduction in the shortfall from last year to this year is due, in part, to a new model for calculating how much CO2e forest trees absorb as well as new knowledge about emissions from low-lying soils. In addition, more electric cars and trucks are being sold than previously estimated within the transportation sector.

The energy and industry sectors lead the way

In KF24, it is expected that emissions from the energy sector will be almost eliminated by 2030, with ongoing reductions in emissions from industry. Therefore, agriculture followed by the transport sector are estimated to account for the largest share of emissions in 2030.

Related News: Denmark’s industrial sector cuts emissions by 17%

“We will continue to gain new knowledge and better methods for measuring CO2 emissions, and the numbers may shift from year to year – both up and down. It is unequivocally positive that we have obtained more accurate knowledge about, for example, forests. However, this does not change the fact that agriculture will continue to account for nearly half of Denmark’s emissions in 2030. Therefore, we must continue to have a CO2 tax on agriculture to reach the 2030 target and fulfill the ambition in the agriculture agreement. We should remember in general that the transition does not stop at 2030; the government aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2045 and a 110 percent reduction by 2050 to address the climate crisis,” says Minister of Climate, Energy, and Utilities Lars Aagaard.

In addition to the national climate goals, Denmark must also comply with the shared agreement within the EU, which entails a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 for sectors such as transportation, small-scale industry, households, and agriculture. According to KF24 projections, the shortfall in 2030 is estimated to be approximately 0.1 million tonnes of CO2e.

Denmark is also required to reduce emissions in the LULUCF ( sectors, which include agricultural land use, land use change, and forestry). KF24 anticipates a shortfall in the budget target for 2026-2029. The reduction target for 2030 is estimated to be met with a margin of approximately 0.2 million tonnes of CO2e.

The Climate Status and Projection

  • The Climate Status and Projection (KF) is the annual assessment of whether Denmark meets its climate targets for 2025 and 2030, as well as its EU climate obligations.
  • KF24 estimates a shortfall of approximately 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 to achieve a 70% reduction in CO2e emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2030.
  • KF24 expects Denmark’s CO2e emissions to be reduced by approximately 55.5% by 2025 compared to 1990 levels. The target in the Climate Law is 50-54%.
  • KF24 is conducted by the Ministry of Climate, Energy, and Utilities, including the Danish Energy Agency, with input from researchers at institutions such as the National Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE) and the National Centre for Food and Agriculture (DCA) at Aarhus University, as well as the Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) and the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management (IGN) at the University of Copenhagen. Other ministries and agencies are also involved.

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