New Danish government puts climate change centre stage

(EurActiv, 26 Jun 2019) Only a few days after the European Union failed to agree on 2050 carbon neutral climate target, Denmark’s Social Democrats and their three center-left allies agreed on Wednesday (26 June) on a political program that aims to promote one of the most ambitious climate policies in the world.

Three weeks of negotiations between the Social Democrats’ leader Mette Frederiksen and her allies have produced an 18-page agreement outlining six broad priorities that she said will help “push Denmark in a new direction.”

The document, titled “A Fair Direction for Denmark,” includes cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030, halting the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars from 2030 onward, introducing a binding reduction target for agriculture, and adopting a climate action plan as well as pushing for more ambitious goals within the EU and strengthening the country’s green diplomacy.

As it is, Denmark reached an emissions reduction of 35% in 2018, explained John Nordbo, Head of Climate Advocacy at Care Denmark. “Today’s announcement means the country is aiming at a twofold increase of its reduction target within the next 11 years as well as a 0% target by 2040,” he added.

This represents a U-turn from the previous Conservative-led government that had dropped any climate target and initiatives, he also said. “Today’s agreement is to make sure Denmark is back on track on the fight against global warming again. Quite luckily it coincides with the Finnish EU presidency that is about to begin,” he stressed.

The text says the target “is a very ambitious target, and it will be particularly difficult to reach the last part of the target from 65% to 70%,” and points out that the government will have to identify the necessary tools and measures in order to meet that goal.

The document also specifies it will do this in accordance with the country’s Climate Council together with other experts.

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EurActiv, 26 Jun 2019: New Danish government puts climate change centre stage