A green and sustainable world – new Danish strategy for global climate action

State of Green
By State of Green, October 07, 2020

Last week, the Danish government launched its long-term strategy for a global climate effort, "A green and sustainable world." The strategy sets the direction for Denmark's overall international climate efforts as a green pioneer country across foreign, development, trade and climate policies.

Denmark’s national goal is to reduce greenhouse gases by 70 per cent by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels). “But federal efforts cannot stand alone,” states a press release from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “With the strategy, the government shows how our green ambitions are translated directly into global action and influence. The government is activating all the relevant international policy areas.”

The strategy connects Denmark’s efforts and translates into annual ambitious, multi-pronged, and integrated global action plans with concrete results. The strategy is the first overall strategy for Denmark’s global climate efforts ever. It covers the responsibilities of seven ministries.

“Denmark must be a “green superpower” that, despite our modest size, takes the lead and pulls other countries in a green direction”
– Jeppe Kofod, Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jeppe Kofod said:

“Denmark must be a “green superpower” that, despite our modest size, takes the lead and pulls other countries in a green direction. Yesterday we entered our first Green Strategic Partnership with India. Soon the world’s most populous country accounts for about seven per cent of the world’s emissions. Here, Denmark and India can jointly ensure a decisive difference in the fight against climate change. With climate diplomacy and green leadership, we must provide many more of such partnerships.”

The Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen said:

“When we say we want to be green pioneer, words must be followed by action. That is why we must strengthen and expand our energy collaborations worldwide, contributing to real CO2 reductions. We must strengthen the phasing out of coal internationally and have focus on how to turn the world’s cash flows from black to green investments. With an overall strategic focus, we can both ensure green recovery and take an active part in the global climate fight”.

Minister for Development Cooperation, Rasmus Prehn said:

“Denmark’s global climate efforts must be a central part of our development cooperation. Things are connected. The fight for the climate also contributes to the fight against poverty, hunger, and inequality. Those hardest hit by climate change are often the poorest and most vulnerable people, especially women and children. That is why we need to help each other, solve each other’s problems. With an ambitious pioneer approach, Denmark can become the little green cogwheel that makes the big ones turn in the right, solidary, and green way.”

The Danish Government’s new long-term strategy on global climate action sets the direction for Denmark’s international climate efforts:

Go here to download a one-pager in English

More green strategic partnerships

As part of the strategy, the government will strengthen the strategic partnership agreements and promote green reconstruction in high-income, developing, and emerging countries, e.g. in Africa and Asia. The Danish government has just entered into a green strategic partnership with India and will sign more green strategic partnership agreements and action plans under existing partnerships with other countries. Heavy emitters who are crucial for the fulfilment of the SDG’s and the Paris Agreement. Strategic partnerships are an essential lever for the green transition and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

-Related news: India and Denmark enter into unique green partnership

Strengthened climate diplomacy to increase global ambitions

Climate ambition in Denmark must play together with diplomacy, technology, and green Danish exports and development aid in a new way. With the global strategy, the government will strengthen solidarity and move Denmark to the forefront of global climate efforts.

Therefore, the government is creating five new climate front posts at the embassies in Addis Ababa, Brasilia, Cairo, London and Rome.

-Related news: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark goes green

We must take the lead in green trade policy and exports

The government will work for ambitious climate and environmental goals in the EU and WTO trade policy and work to promote green focus in all phases of EU trade agreements, as well as for the liberalisation of trade in green goods and services, the phasing out of subsidies for fossil fuels and increased use of green standards and labelling schemes. We need the economic restart to accelerate the world’s green transition.

Danish companies are world champions in green transition. Danish solutions for greenhouse gas reductions and climate adaptation must play an even bigger role globally. This must be done through strengthened green economic diplomacy and investment and export promotion. Therefore, the government will among other things, enhance green economic diplomacy and government efforts for exports in the EU, where the European Green Deal creates excellent opportunities.

Development aid must be green and solidary

The government wants a much more climate-ambitious Danish development cooperation and will implement a reorganisation of development aid, where the green approach takes centre stage. Among other things, the focus should be on climate adaptation, sustainable development and green recovery in the poorest and most fragile developing countries. Denmark should create access to clean energy and clean water for millions of people in Africa. More green jobs and apprenticeships must be made to raise hope, especially for the many young people on the African continent.

Global funding flows must be green

The government will reverse global funding flows to support investment in, for example, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and innovative technologies that can put the world on the right track towards climate neutrality by 2050. Simultaneously, the mobilisation of climate finance for the poorest and most fragile countries must be strengthened.

-Related news: Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs to the world: Invest in Denmark now to accelerate the green transition

Strengthened energy cooperation

The government will strengthen and expand Denmark’s bilateral energy cooperations with some of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters. Partnerships that create significant CO2 reductions and contribute to the global green transition.



The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Danish)

Photo by Colin Watts on Unsplash

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