The green transition in Europe must accelerate. Therefore, Denmark is sending a clear signal to COP24 together with eight other EU countries. Let the polluter pay to emit CO2 so that the green solutions can gain ground.
Emitting CO2 in Europe needs to cost across the board – and not only for large industries and energy producers. The clear message comes from the Danish Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate, Lars Chr. Lilleholt, who signed a declaration stating that the EU needs to implement “carbon pricing”, that is, that the CO2 emitters have to pay for their emission of greenhouse gasses.
Denmark, together with France, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, the UK and Sweden, has signed a declaration that demands a European collaboration regard effective pricing on CO2-emissions. That includes a so-called minimum price on CO2-emissions from power production and a price on CO2 in sectors outside the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, where many EU countries would like to work closely together on CO2-fees on heat and transport.
“All of Europe needs to agree on sending coal and fossil fuels on retirement and get wind turbines up and running. One of the best ways to do this is to let CO-emissions come with a financial cost. It is a simple and healthy principle: the polluter must pay. It is both fairer and more effective. That is why I, together with a number of the EU’s other green pioneers, have signed this declaration,” said the Minister of Climate, Lars Chr. Lilleholt.
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Wanted: a more effective price on CO2-emissions
The EU-countries are not alone with the “pollution should cost”-agenda. At the climate summit COP24 in Poland, 414 investors from around the world expressed their desire for higher ambitions to slow down climate change. Investors particularly call for an effective price on emitting CO2. So do a number of voices from the Danish industry, including Vestas and Ørsted.
Danish Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate, Lars Christian Lilleholt, who recently arrived at the COP24 summit, has a positive outlook on the Danish businesses that support an effective, market-based regulation in Europe. It could be the beginning to raise ambitions for the EU’s climate action.
“At the same time, it is vital for me that the green transition will not be socially imbalanced. Therefore, climate action is not just about making the non-sustainable energy more expensive. We also need to make green solutions cheaper. In Denmark, we have already shown the possibility of that,” said Lars Chr. Lilleholt.
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On 12 December 2018, Denmark, France, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Sweden signed the declaration ”To strengthen and extend carbon pricing in Europe”.
The Danish government has been working to strengthen the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme.
Since the approval of the reform of the Emissions Trading Scheme in the EU, the price of carbon quotas has more than tripled over a year.
Denmark is working together with France, The Netherlands and and a range of Denmark’s neighbouring countries to study the possibilities for a minimum price on CO2-emissions from power production, to support an effective green transition and the phasing out of coal power in Europe.