Denmark

   

Environmental Policies

#2
Key Findings
With ambitious targets for phasing out fossil-fuel use, Denmark falls into the top ranks worldwide (rank 2) with regard to environmental policies. Its score in this area has improved by 0.8 points relative to 2014.

Climate policy in particular is a strength, with increasing focus on whether current policies are sufficiently ambitious. Direct greenhouse-gas emissions have fallen about 20% since the mid-1990s, and there is broad agreement on targeting a 70% reduction by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The renewable-energy share is currently 23% on a consumption basis.

All parliamentary parties have approved an agreement aiming to produce 100% of electricity consumed in Denmark from renewable sources by 2030. A government climate plan would phase out petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and earlier for buses and taxis.

The country plays an active role in shaping international environmental regimes, working through the EU, the UN and other bodies. Civil society actively puts pressure on politicians to act in this area both domestically and internationally.

Environment

#2

How effectively does environmental policy in your country protect and preserve the sustainability of natural resources and environmental quality?

10
 9

Environmental policy goals are ambitious and effectively implemented as well as monitored within and across most relevant policy sectors that account for the largest share of resource use and emissions.
 8
 7
 6


Environmental policy goals are mainly ambitious and effectively implemented and are monitored within and across some of the relevant policy sectors that account for the largest share of resource use and emissions.
 5
 4
 3


Environmental policy goals are neither particularly ambitious nor are they effectively implemented and coordinated across relevant policy sectors.
 2
 1

Environmental concerns have been largely abandoned.
Environmental Policy
9
Denmark is considered to be a front-runner in environmental policy. According to the 2018 Climate Change Performance Index of the Climate Action Network Europe, Denmark ranked 17 out of 178 countries. Climate and environmental policies have taken center stage in recent policy discussions, and a wide range of aspects concerning sustainable living and production have been discussed.

Denmark is doing relatively well when it comes to renewable energy, as 23% of energy consumption is renewable, which puts Denmark in eighth place among OECD countries. Water usage is relatively low in Denmark compared to other OECD countries.

While carbon dioxide emissions measured on the basis of Danish production have been reduced by about 20% since the mid-1990s, the reduction is only about 5% when measured in terms of consumption. There is broad agreement on targeting a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 relative to 1990 levels.

Denmark has set rather ambitious goals including that energy production should be fossil free by 2050. Several sub-targets have been set to reach this goal. While the long-term goal is for Denmark to be independent of fossil fuels by 2050, the government has also called for green realism in environmental policy and there are signs that some environmental goals will be softened.

In June 2018, all parties in the Folketing approved an energy agreement, which aimed to produce 100% of electricity consumed in Denmark from renewable sources by 2030. As such, three large offshore windfarms were planned, taxes on electricity were to be reduced and money was also budgeted for promoting green transport (e.g., electric cars).

On 9 October 2018, the government put forward a new climate plan with 14 specific proposals, mostly concerning the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and earlier for buses and taxis.

Citations:
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, PRESS STATEMENT, Copenhagen, 25 January 2008 Launch of the Environmental Performance Review of Denmark, By Mr. Lorents Lorentsen, Environment Directorate.

Regeringen, 2017, Energi, forsyning og klima, https://www.regeringen.dk/regeringens-politik-a-%C3%A5/energi-forsyning-og-klima/ (accessed 7 Demceber 2017).

Climate Action Network Europe, “The Climate Change Performance Index. Results 2018,” https://www.germanwatch.org/sites/germanwatch.org/files/publication/20504.pdf (Accessed 2 December 2018).

Rockwool Fondensforskningsenhed, 2014, Measuring Denmark’s CO2 emissions. Copenhagen.

Environmental Performance Index. Country profile: Denmark. http://www.epi.yale.edu/epi/country-profile/denmark (accessed 7 October 2015, re-accessed 23 October 2016).

EU Environmental infringements, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/law/statistics.htm (Accessed 20 October 2017).

Ministry of Environment and Food, Sammen on en grønnere fremtid, https://mfvm.dk/nyheder/nyhed/nyhed/sammen-om-en-groennere-fremtid/ (Accessed 9 October 2018).

“Dansk Energi roser partierne bag ny energiaftale for at tage ansvar og gøre danskernes strøm grønnere og billigere til gavn for både økonomi og samfund.” https://www.danskenergi.dk/nyheder/pressemeddelelse/energiaftale-gor-gronnere-danmark-elektrisk (Accessed 7 November 2018).

“Politisk forståelse mellem Socialdemokratiet, Radikale Enstre, SF og Enhedslisten: Retfærdig retning for Danmark,”https://ufm.dk/ministeriet/regeringsgrundlag-vision-og-strategier/reger ingen-mette-frederiksens-forstaelsespapir (accessed 15 October 2019).

Global Environmental Protection

#2

To what extent does the government actively contribute to the design and advancement of global environmental protection regimes?

10
 9

The government actively contributes to international efforts to design and advance global environmental protection regimes. In most cases, it demonstrates commitment to existing regimes, contributes to their being advanced and has introduced appropriate reforms.
 8
 7
 6


The government contributes to international efforts to strengthen global environmental protection regimes. It demonstrates commitment to existing regimes and occasionally contributes to their being advanced and/or has introduced some appropriate reforms.
 5
 4
 3


The government demonstrates commitment to existing regimes, but does not contribute to their being advanced and has not introduced appropriate reforms.
 2
 1

The government does not contribute to international efforts to strengthen global environmental protection regimes.
Global Environmental Policy
9
When it comes to international efforts, Denmark is actively promoting environmental protection through the European Union, relevant U.N. bodies and global conferences, including in particular the Conference of the Parties (COP) under the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The European Union has become an important international actor in this area with its focus shifting toward global warming, including the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and achievement of a higher energy efficiency.

There is broad understanding in Denmark that global environmental protection is an international issue, but also a belief that being a front-runner is important to induce global action. It is a policy area in which civil society is very actively putting pressure on politicians. In domestic policy discussions, there is increasing debate about whether current policies are sufficiently ambitious, with particular focus on alternative energy sources and reductions in CO2 emissions.

The P4G, which was initiated by the prime minster, held a summit in Copenhagen in October 2018, with more than 800 participants developing public-private partnerships to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

In October 2019, the C40 World Mayors Summit took place in Copenhagen. The organization brings together representatives from 90 cities around the world that are leading the way on achieving the Paris Agreement goals at the local level. The group is also working to reduce air pollution in cities.

The new Social Democratic government, which came to power in June 2019, has set a very ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gases by 70% by 2030. This goal is now supported by most political parties in the parliament.

Citations:
Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2012, EU Environmental Policy, http://eu2012.dk/en/EU-and-the-Presidency/About-EU/Politikomraader/ENV I/Miljoepolitik (accessed 27 April 2013).

“Klimaindsatsen i Danmark,” http://www.kebmin.dk//klima-energi-bygningspolitik/dansk-klima-energi-bygningspolitik/klimaindsatsen-danmark (accessed 19 October 2014).

Web site of Ministry of the Environment: http://mim.dk/ (Accessed 19 October 2014).

“Danmark udpeget som klimaskurk på topmøde i Paris,” https://www.dr.dk/nyheder/indland/danmark-udpeget-som-klimaskurk-paa-topmoede-i-paris (Accessed 23 October 2016).

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s Opening Address to the Folketing on 3 October 2017” http://www.stm.dk/_p_14597.html (accessed 20 October 2017).

Statsministerens tale ved Folketingets åbning, 2. oktober 2018, http://www.stm.dk/_p_14739.html (Accessed 9 October 2018).

P4G Copenhagen Summit 2018: Accelerating partnerships, https://p4gsummit.org/ (Accessed 7 November 2018).

C40 World Mayors Summit, The Future We Want, Copenhagen 9th-12th October 2019, https://c40summit2019.org/# (Accessed 17 October 2019)
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