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U.S. and Denmark amp up joint efforts on science, innovation and climate resiliency

State of Green
By State of Green, May 04, 2021

With two new partnerships, the U.S. and Denmark amp up their green collaboration. During President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate Change, the two penned a new collaboration on science and innovation efforts. On 3 May, the City of Houston and Denmark further announced new partnerships on climate resiliency and water management.

Cross-Atlantic partnerships between the U.S. and Denmark have been sprouting over the years. The shared ambition to develop green solutions has brought together corporates, citizens and authorities in finding new ways for a cleaner and greener tomorrow. Now, the parties are strengthening the joint efforts. Two new agreements seek to foster co-creation, pilot projects and greater sharing of knowledge between innovators, research institutions and cities.

Related news: Fruitful Danish-American dialogue on sustainable buildings and cities 

The first of the two new partnerships was signed during President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Earth Day, 22 April. While creating new collaborative paths for research institutions to team up on technology development within climate and environment at large, the partnership has its primary focus on green fuels, energy storage and new ways of utilising CO2. Denmark’s Minister for Education and Science, Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen, warmly welcomed the new opportunities:

“This agreement is a superb example of how solutions to climate challenges must be generated across borders, and not just in national settings. By heightening the scientific collaboration and develop innovative solutions in collaboration with key partners, such as the U.S, we can deliver truly meaningful climate results”,

In view of the U.S.’ position as a global frontrunner within science and tech development, the new opportunity to link up more researchers and scientists across the Atlantic also brought excitement to the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen, and Director of the Innovation Fund Denmark, Anne-Marie Levy. In a join statement, they both underlined the prospect of combining U.S.’ tech leadership and Denmark’s green ambitions in pushing green innovations to new segments and markets.

Read more about the science and innovation partnership here (in Danish).

Houston and Copenhagen pen new partnership on climate resiliency
Copenhagen, once a grimy industrial city, may be on its way to become the world’s first carbon neutral capital in 2025. A crucial element on its path towards carbon neutrality has been the development of solutions through public-private-partnerships, public participation and city-to-city collaboration. Over the years, Copenhagen has over teamed with up with likeminded partners, such as New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Beijing and Buenos Aires. Now, a partnership with Houston will provide new opportunity for increased co-development and exchange of knowledge within climate resiliency.

Related news: 8 ways Texas cities can become more resilient to water hazards 

On 3 May, the two cities announced a collaboration agreement to foster greater sharing of experience and local expertise within sea level rise, cloudbursts, compound flooding and circular economy. The agreement was part of a string of new partnerships between Denmark and the City of Houston.

At the signing ceremony held by the Danish Consulate General in Houston, Ambassador of Denmark to the U.S., Lone Dencker Wisborg, highlighted Denmark’s experiences within energy transition, water management and climate adaptation as key building blocks in the future collaboration:

“Houston is a great example of a classic industrial city about to swift from fossils and embark on a green transformation. They have a clear strategy for the path ahead, and they have the capacity to make it happen.”

Amongst others, Houston is about to embark on large-scale energy efficiency plan and a thorough upgrade of the city’s wastewater system worth USD 2 billion over the next 15 years. The first step for Houston and Copenhagen is now to identify potential research pilot projects with the aim of co-creating sustainable solutions across both cities.

At the event, Houston Public Works and the Danish Consulate General in Houston also set forth on a cooperation looking at more effecient ways to derive energy from sludge in wastewater treatment .

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