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Danish municipalities unite to improve climate and energy reporting

By State of Green, June 07, 2019

How do we measure municipal CO2 emissions? How can they be compared to other municipalities’ emissions? These objectives have resulted in the Energy- and CO2 Report, which is being relaunched by the Danish Energy Agency, the Local Government Association of Denmark (KL), the Capital Region of Denmark and 29 Danish municipalities.

The Danish Energy Agency has recently developed ‘The Energy and CO2 Report’ – a tool that allows municipalities to measure their annual C02 emissions. Currently, the project only exists as an online, beta version. In order to ensure ownership and further development of the tool, a number of municipalities have now entered into a collaboration with the Danish Energy Agency, the Local Government Association of Denmark (KL) and the philanthropic association Realdania.  Energy Forum Denmark and Gate 21 will also assist in the process.

“‘The Energy and CO2 Report’ is important, because it offers all municipalities a simple and cost-effective instrument to measure their annual emissions – thereby obtaining figures and data for municipal environmental reports. This is a crucial opportunity because it allows municipalities to assess if they are on track to obtain CO2 neutrality or not. Another advantage of this tool is that it offers a homogeneous method that makes it easier for municipalities to work together across borders, and learn from each other’s experiences,” said Pol Erik Lauridsen, CEO of Gate 21, He emphasises that there is still an opportunity for other municipalities to join.

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Municipalities can take a leading role in solving the global climate crisis

‘The Energy and CO2 Report’ is developed by the Danish Energy Agency in collaboration with the Local Government Association of Denmark and Realdania. The three parties will be part of a steering committee in tandem with three municipalities, while the Danish Energy Agency will continue to have formal ownership of the tool. The municipalities involved in the project will gain direct influence through a workgroup, which will make recommendations on how to optimise the tool.

Currently, it costs a municipality around EUR 2,000 annually to gain access to the instrument and participate in developing the ‘ Energy and CO2 Report’. Realdania has just approved a new, two-year grant, which will contribute to the development of the tool. The intention for the grant is to accelerate the development of the tool and strengthen ownership amongst municipalities so that after a transitional period, the tool can be passed on to the municipalities.

“The relaunched Energy and CO2 Report will make it easier for the municipalities to work strategically with climate and energy planning. With the current global climate crisis, it is imperative that cities around the world have the best opportunities to contribute to solving climate challenges. We have just launched the climate project DK2020, where 20 Danish municipalities will be developing highly ambitious climate plans with the help of the world’s leading climate cities. In addition to other project elements, the re-launched tool can be highly useful. We look forward to working closely with municipalities throughout Denmark to further develop the tool,”said Jesper Nygård, CEO of Realdania.

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Municipalities can save resources

The municipalities’ annual co-financing of the tool should be understood in light of the fact that many municipalities already prepare annual climate and energy accounts. Doing so requires many resources and can be costly, especially for smaller municipalities. It can also result in local municipalities measuring their energy and CO2 performance with the use of different data sources and methods, thus making it difficult to compare municipal performance.

“With a common Energy and CO2 Report, municipalities can save resources and measure whether their own climate efforts provide green figures in the climate accounts – also in relation to their neighbouring municipality. At the same time, we can ensure that the tool can be applicable with international reporting standards such as the Global Covenant of mayors,” says Lars Thygesen, Chairman of Energy Forum Denmark and concludes:

“We hope that many municipalities can see the multiple benefits of continuing the Energy and CO2 Report jointly so that we can gain a comprehensive overview of greenhouse gases in Denmark, which will be updated regularly.”

Background information
The cooperation has been underway since the end of 2018 and was formally initiated at a founding steering committee meeting on 30 April 2019. The project runs until the end of 2020, after which the ownership of the tool will, according to plan, be transferred to the municipalities.

About the Energy- and Co2 Report
The Energy- and Co2 Report provides an overview of Co2 emissions in Denmark, distributed among the country’s municipalities. Municipalities throughout the country have been collecting data for several years on their CO2 emissions and have created CO2 accounts that detail how much CO2 the municipality emits from, for example, production, traffic and private households. In the latest version of the tool, it is possible to extract data at a regional level or across several municipalities.

Source: the Danish Energy Agency

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