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news on sustainable development

Renewble Energy Act adopted in Denmark
A new law consolidating previous legislation and incorporating several new measures to speed up the development of renewable energy (see story of 9 November) has been adopted almost unanimously by the Danish Parliament. Only the Red-Green Alliance, which has four out of 179 MPs, dissented. Minister of Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard expects the new law to clear the way for the development of a further 1300 MW of windpower over the next for years, or enough to supply some 40 % of Danish households with electricity.
Read more (Danish) [20.12.08]

New Danish transport strategy gives climate higher priority
The Danish Ministry of Transport has presented a new strategy for the 2009-2010 period, signalling that climate concerns from now on will be given significantly higher priority. The Government is to invest DKK 90 billion (€ 12 bn) in a new infrastructure fund, of which at least DKK 50 bn are to be spent on upgrading railways. Congestions charges will be introduced and taxes are to be restructured so that new cars - especially low-emission vehicles - will become cheaper, but fuel more expensive. More new road projects may be rejected on environmental grounds. The Danish Society for Nature Conservation, which has often been sharply critical of government transport policies, takes a largely positive view (statement in Danish only) of the new policy.
Read more (Danish)
"No new deal without flexible mechanisms" - Hedegaard
Danish Minister of Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard says that Denmark will not support any new global climate agreement unless it includes the opportunity for countries to trade in emissions permits. The flexible mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol, in particular CDM, have come in for criticism on a number of counts, ranging from the view that they allow rich countries to drag their feet in cutting domestic emissions to allegations that some CDM projects will not deliver the same reductions in reality as they do on paper. However, Ms. Hedegaard maintains that much of the criticism is unwarranted and based on misunderstandings.
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Danish PM envisions fossil-free future
Adressing a convention of his Liberal Party, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke at length about his commitment to sustainable energy and a green tax reform. Rasmussen also suggested (as Finnish and Swedish cabinet ministers recently have) that investments in sustainable energy could pave a way out of the current economic crisis. Shortly after taking the helm in 2001, the Fogh Rasmussen Government eliminated most subsidies for sustainable energy and froze energy taxes. The last 2-3 years have seen a remarkable shift in its energy and climate policies, confirmed anew in the PM's speech. .
Read more (Danish)
Electricity tariffs to inverse Beaufort scale?
The biggest Danish Government and Opposition parties alike have agreed to mandate a restructuring of electricity tariffs. Consumers will pay more during hours and seasons of peak demand, and less when demand is slack - but they will also pay less when there are strong winds. Denmark plans to increase national windpower generation until it equals at leats 50 % of national demand for electricity. By then, any power demand that can be allowed to vary with wind force will be an economic advantage.
Read more (Danish)
Renewble Energy Act adopted in Denmark
A new law incorporating a range of measures to speed up the development of renewable energy (see story of 9 November) has been adopted almost unanimously by the Danish Parliament. Only the Red-Green Alliance, which has four out of 179 MPs, dissented. Minister of Climate and Energy expects the new law to clear the way for the development of a further 1300 MW of windpower over the next for years, or enough to supply some 40 % of Danish households with electricity. .
"Energi 21" website (limited information in English) - "Teknisk ukeblad" article (Norwegian only) [08.02.08]

New law on renewable energy proposed in Denmark
The Danish Government has newly presented a Bill on Renewable Energy to Parliament. Besides collating earlier piecemeal legislation relating to renewables into a single Act, the Bill includes several provisions designed to reduce the level of conflict over new wind power developments. These include a right for local residents to secure a 20 % interest in any new wind power project, a right to compensation for anyone whose property loses value due to such developments and extra funding for environmental and recreational purposes in municipalities affected by renewable energy projects.
Read more (Danish)
Danish climate campaign wins European award
The ”One ton less” campaign of the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy has won the 2008 award for best practice in environmental communication of the EU's "Green Spider" network. According to a recent survey, 17 % of Danes claim to have reduced their CO2 emissions as a result of the campaign. The jury was particularly impressed by one of the campaign's symbols - a giant globe whose volume equals that of 1 ton of CO2.
Read more (Danish)
Three Danish "Energy Towns" named
A jury appointed by the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy has now selected the three towns (from a field of 13) that are to showcase Danish efforts towards sustainable energy use. They will be the capital, Copenhagen, the city of Kolding in East Jutland and the small town of Skive in West Jutland. According to Minister of Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard, all three have "shown that they can achieve results and have ambitious plans". The Energy Towns initiative should not be confused with the "Climate Communities" project initiated by the Danish Society for Nature Conservation, although one of the selection criteria for "Energy Towns" was willingness to particiapte in that project as well (story of 15.08).
Read more (Danish)
Renewble energy supply up by 10 % in Denmark
The supply of renewable energy from sources such as biomass and wind power increased by 10 % from 2006 to 2007, according to the Danish Energy Agency. Renweable sources - not including imports of hydro-eledtricity - thus covered a record 17 % of total energy use, and 29 % of electricity consumption. Minister of Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard says that Denmark "will continue to be a frontrunner" in this field, but noted that growing energy use in the transport sector, which still runs almost entirely on fossil fuels, poses a major challenge.
Read more (Danish)
Biggest wind farm yet gets go-ahead in Denmark
The Danish Parliament has approved plans for the construction of what will be the country's biggest wind farm to date - consisting of 175 turbines to be located in the Kattegat, between Jutland and the island of Anholt. At 400 MW, it will have twice the capacity of the Rødsand II wind farm for which a contract was awarded earlier this year (story of 25 April). Expected to come on stream in 2012, it will generate enough electricity to cover the demand of about 15 % of all Danish households.
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Danish employers lukewarm to climate campaign
The ”One ton less” campaign launched by the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy with the aim of getting people to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions has so far had limited success in bringing businesses on board. The campaign has targeted ten of Denmark’s biggest enterprises in the hope of getting them to promote its aims among their employees, but only one (Danske Bank) has signed up, while two more (the postal service and Novo Nordisk) have said they intend to do so. 500 smaller businesses have joined the campaign, but their employees make up less than 1 % of the Danish workforce.
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More Danish "Climate communities"
Four more Danish municipalities will be joining the "Climate Communities" programme launched by the Danish Society for Nature Conservation during August, bringing the total to 12. Member municipalities must undertake to cut the CO2 emissions from local government activities by at least 2 % per year, and work towards reductions in the whole municipality. At least two of them intend to make their whole communities carbon neutral within 15-20 years. The Ministry of Climate and Energy has announced that three "Energy Towns" will shortly be selected to showcase sustainable policies. Membership or pending membership of the "Climate Communities" will be a prerequisite for selection as an "Energy Town".
Read more (Danish)
Danish Government saves electricity
The Danish Government, which is to host next year's climate summit, has fittingly enough started to save energy in its own offices. Until two years ago, electricity use by the Danish state grew inexorably. During 2006 and 2007 it has been cut by 10 %, through a combination of more efficient technology and increased awareness, e.g. about proper running of ventilation systems. To make sure performance goes on improving, ministries and agencies will from now on face annual reductions in their energy budgets. They are already required to implement all conservation measures with a payback time of five years or less.
Read more (Danish)
Denmark to burn more coal?
A majority in the Danish Parliament, representing the governing coalition and its supporting parties, appears to favour the idea of allowing two of the country's newer power plants to include coal in their fuel mix. Hitherto, the Avedøre II and Skærbæk plants have been prevented from doing so under a law from 1997 banning the use of coal in new plants. They therefore burn a mix of gas, oil and biofuels. Opposition spokespeople claim the likely move is designed to raise the sale price of shares in the plants' owner, DONG Energy, soon to be privatised.
Read more
Most Danish municipalities acting on climate
According to a survey just conducted for the municiapl association Local Government Denmark, two-thirds of the country's 98 municipalities now have activities in the field of climate protection. A further 22 % have plans to start such activities, while only 9 % are so far doing nothing. One-third of municipalities are also working out how to adapt to climate change.

Read more (Danish)
E.ON to build new wind farm off Denmark
The Swedish subsidiary of German energy giant E.ON has won the competition to build an offshore winnd farm off Lolland in southern Denmark. At 200 MW, the project (Rødsand II) will tie with the Horns Rev II wind farm for the title of Denmark's largest, and supply two percent of the country's electricity. The decision follows a protracted process in which the Government had to rewrite the terms of tender in order to attract sufficiently interested bidders. Only two were involved at the last stage - E.ON and DONG Energy.
Read more (Danish)
Hedegaard denies enthusiasm for biofuels
Amid growing global controversy over the use of farmland to produce biofuels, Danish Minister of Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard has come in for criticism for allegedly promoting it. She strongly refutes the allegation, saying that her sights have always been set on second generation biofuels and that her policy for the time being is not to exceed the EU target of using 5.75 % of biofuels, while Opposition spokesmen have demanded more. So far Sweden has been the only Nordic country actually to use biofuels on a large scale.

Read more (Danish)
Danish energy technology exports forge ahead
2007 was another strong year for Danish exporters of energy technology, according to the Danish Energy Agency. Exports grew by 8 %, compared with 2 % for Danish exports in general, and topped 50 billion DKK (€ 6.2 bn) for the first time. More markets may be opening in India, which has just signed a 9-point agreement (Danish) on energy co-operation with Denmark, including projects in the fields of wind power, bioenergy and energy efficiency.
Read more (Danish)
Danish utilities surpass energy saving targets
Under an agreement with the Government dating from 2005, Danish electricity, gas and district heating utilities as well as suppliers of heating oil are obliged to promote energy savings among their customers. In 2007 their combined efforts saved 3.4 PJ of energy, or 15 % more than the target set. Minister of Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard is happy that the utilities. "after a slow start", are now on track and says that the goal for the future must be not just to stabilise but actually to reduce the country's energy consumption.
Read more (Danish)
DONG to launch campaign for electric cars
DONG Energy, the largest energy company in Denmark, is to launch a major campaign to promote electric vehicles in co-operation with makers Renault and Nissan, as well as the Califonian "Better Place" project. DONG and partners hope to make electric cars available at a cost of less than DKK 100.000 (€ 13.000) by 2010, and use surplus wind power at nighttime to charge them. At this price DONG reportedly hopes that one in five Danish car buyers will opt for a battery-driven model.
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Climate Commission appointed in Denmark
Danish Minister of Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard has announced the appointment of a 10-member expert commission on climate policy. The commission is to present proposals on how Denmark's GHG emissions can be reduced by 60-80 % with 2050 - i.e. a similar brief to that given to the Norwegian Commission on Low Emissions, which reported in late 2006. The Danish commission will be headed by Professor Katherine Richardson of the University of Copenhagen and is expected to report in 2010.
Read more (Danish)
Wind power sets new record in Denmark
Wind turbines generated a record 7.2 TWh of electricity in Denmark in 2007. At the same time, total electricity production dropped by 14 % from the very high level of 2006, when Denmark had large net exports due to lower than normal hydropower production in Norway and Sweden. Wind power thus rose to over 18 % of the 39.2 TWh generated in 2007. Net Danish electricity consumption was virtually unchanged at 36.4 TWh.
Read more (Danish)
Danish parties agree on energy plan
The Danish Government has announced an agreement with all the major Opposition parties on a plan to increase the renewble share of the country's energy supply to 20 % within three years, as a step on the way to achieving 30 % by 2020. The plan includes building 400 MW of new wind power capacity at sea, as well as increased subsidies for land-based wind power and a swathe of tax exemptions, RD & D efforts and support schemes to promote other renewables and energy efficiency. The extra expenses will reach 1.7 billion DKK annually by 2011 and 2.5 billion DKK (€ 330 million) by 2012.
Read more (Danish)
"One ton less" campaign claims some success in Denmark
According to a recent poll, one-half of all Danes have heard of the "One ton less" campaign launched last year by the country's Energy Agency, which aims to get each of them to reduce their GHG emissions by that amount. One in six claimed actually to have reduced their emissions as a result, and 82 % to be willing to do so. However, only 22.000 have so far actually undertaken to cut their emissions by as much as one ton.
Read more (Danish) - Campaign website
Maersk Line emits as much CO2 as all of Denmark
Previous calculations by Statitsics Denmark (story of 14 December) showing that Denmarks's GHG emissions would grow by just under 50 % if international shipping were included, appear to be short of the mark. Internal calculations by the Danish AP Møller - Maersk group, the world's largest container shipper, show that its fleet alone emits at least as much CO2 as all of Denmark. Climate and Energy Minister Connie Hedegaard has confirmed her intention of seeking a global emissions regime that will cover shipping, but is waiting to see if the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) can come up with a proposal of its own before the end of 2008.
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Danes still firmly against nuclear energy
The argument that nuclear power might be necessary to combat climate change has evidently not found fertile soil in Denmark. A poll for the Politiken newspaper shows that only 16 % of Danes support the deployment of nuclear power in the country. Danish authorities shelved their nuclear plans in the 1980's, and Minister of Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard commented that the pollwas a stamp of approval on official policy, which is to promote renewable energy instead.
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Newspaper lifts lid on Danish GHG scenarios
In an article on 24 January, the Information newspaper accused Danish authorities of keeping secret two reports by independent consultants that describe how the country could reduce its GHG emission by up to 40 % within 2020 and 50 % within 2050. The Danish Energy Agency has responded by offering a lengthy explanation of why the reports (dated May and December 2007) were not yet ripe for publication, but decided to publish them at once nevertheless, in order to "dispel any myths". The explantion is in Danish only, but both reports are available in English from the same webpage.
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Hydrogen buses for Copenhagen?
Delegates to the 2009 Copenhagen climate conference may be able to travel between venues leaving nothing but a trail of water vapour. Representatives of several parties, including the Conservatives who form part of the Government, are supporting the introduction of hydrogen buses, which could run om fuel produced with Danish wind power. Putting 50 such buses on the road by next year would cost an estimated DKK 60 million (€ 8 mn).
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Denmark to develop CO2 reduction strategy for transport sector
Speaking after a Government-appointed committee on transport infrastructure delivered its report, Danish Minister of Transport Carina Christensen promised that the resulting investment plan would be coupled with a strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from the transport sector. She was seconded by Minister of Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard, who said that "massive" investments in public transport were now "desperately important". While Denmark has succeeded in reducing emissions from other sectors, CO2 emissions from transport have so far pointed unrelentingly upward.

Remarks by Ministers Christensen and Hedegaard (Danish)
Denmark to develop CO2 reduction strategy for transport sector
Speaking after a Government-appointed committee on transport infrastructure delivered its report, Danish Minister of Transport Carina Christensen promised that the resulting investment plan would be coupled with a strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from the transport sector. She was seconded by Minister of Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard, who said that "massive" investments in public transport were now "desperately important". While Denmark has succeeded in reducing emissions from other sectors, CO2 emissions from transport have so far pointed unrelentingly upward.

Remarks by Ministers Christensen and Hedegaard (Danish)
"Stony road to 2009" - Hedegaard
Summing up the results of the Bali climate conference, Danish Minister of Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard sees "a stony road ahead" to the Copenhagen climate summit of 2009. Denmark and the EU would have preferred the Bali conference to have set real targets for greenhouse gas reductions by 2020, but "considering the critical phase the negotiations went through" must nevertheless be satisfied that a roadmap was adopted. Albeit some of the stones on that road "are pretty large".

"Copenhagen Post" article (English) - Ministry's official version (Danish)
Denmark dirtier than its reputation?
According to a report by Statistics Denmark, the country would be among the world's top 10 per capita emitters of greenhouse gases if emissions from international shipping and aircraft were included in official figures. It would also be impossible to claim that emissions had been decoupled from economic growth. This is especially down to the country's large and growing merchant fleet. The Information newspapaper claims the truth is even worse, since the Danish-owned fleet is actually much larger than Statistics Denmark's figure. Norway's emissions would also shoot up if its ships were counted, but the trend would be different, as the Norwegian-owned fleet has shrunk somewhat since 2000.
Read more - "Information" article (Danish) - (Photo:
Danes take to wood pellets
Consumption of wood pellets in Denmark continues to grow and reached 900.000 tons in 2006, despite a drop in consumption by CHP plants due to higher prices. Private households (white in graph, left) are now leading the demand for pellets, which covered 6 % of household energy use in 2006 - the highest share in any Nordic country. Consumption of pellets by all sectors in Sweden, at almost 1.7 million tons, was on a par with Denmark in per capita terms, while it was far lower in Finland (100.000 tons) and Norway (30.000 tons).
Read more (Danish)
Climate attachés to prepare ground for 2009
The newly appointed Danish Minister of Climate and Energy, Connie Hedegaard, has announced that five special envoys will be attached to Danish embassies in countries whose participation will be crucial for a successful post-Kyoto climate treaty. Washington, Beijing and New Delhi are among the likely postings. Ms. Hedegaard says this will provide her with the "clearest possible lines of communication" in the run-up to the 2009 Copenhagen climate conference.
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Hedegaard named Minister of Climate and Energy
Responsibilities for energy and environment issues in the Danish Government have been reshuffled following its recent election victory. Former Minister for the Environment Connie Hedegaard (Conservative, pictured) has been named Minister of Climate and Energy, therby retaining responsibilty for the climate issues formerly managed by her old Ministry and taking over energy matters fofrom the former Ministry of Transport and Energy. The new Minister for the Environment is Mr. Troels Lund Poulsen (Liberal).
Read more (Danish)
Danish Government returned in elections
The Liberal-Conservative coalition in Denmark, led by PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen (photo) is set to continue in office following a snap election om 13 November. Although the two governing parties and the Danish People's Party, which has supported the Government since 2001, only received 89 seats - one short of a majority - they can count on the support of one MP from the Faroe Islands as well as the five MPs of the New Alliance Party.
Full election results
2/3 of Danes want fewer cars on the road
According to a recent poll, 96 percent of Danes believe that CO2 emissions from car traffic need to be reduced, and 65 percent think that there ought to be fewer cars on the road. This includes 57 percent of motorists. The poll was taken among 1137 people living on the island of Zealand, which includes the capital region and has about half of Denmark's population.
Read more (Danish)
Danish Govt. accused of doctoring climate reports
According to the Politiken newspaper, quoting several leading Danish scientists, the Danish Government repeatedly edited scientific reports and recommendations to downplay the threat of human-induced climate change. The allegations relate to the present centre-right Governments's first term in office (2001-2004). Much of the editing apparently took place in the Finance Ministry, but former Minister for the Environment Hans Christian Schmidt is also alleged to have personally edited some texts.
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Danish municipalities to save more energy
The Danish Association of Local Authorities has signed an agreement with the Minister of Transport and Energy, under which the municipalities will implement the same guidelines for energy efficiency efforts as central government. This means, among other things, that all energy efficiency measures with a payback time of five years or less should be carried out.
Read more (Danish)
Carbon-neutral Copenhagen in 2025?
Copenhagen's Deputy Mayor with responsibility for environment and infrastructure issues, Mr. Claus Bondam, has called for the city to become carbon-neutral by 2025. This would be achieved inter alia by reducing car traffic and strongly increasing use of renewavle energy sources, including a geothermal reservoir 2.5 km below the city. At present the island of Samsø (pop. 4200) is Denmark's only carbon-neutral community, while Frederikshavn (story of 21 September) hopes to become so by 2015.
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Danish energy use up by 1.5 % last year
Energy use in Denmark, corrected for electricity exports, rose by 1.5 % in 2006, according to figures just released by the Danish Energy Agency. The increase was due to very strong economic growth. Still, energy use remains only 6 % higher than in 1980, while GDP has grown by 80 % over the same period (graph).
Read more (Danish)
First Danish "Climate Municipality" named
The Danish Society for Nature Conservation has launched a "Climate Municipalities" programme, under which it will co-operate with frontrunner communities in the field and help advertise their activities during the run-up to the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009. The first agreement has been signed with the harbour town of Frederikshavn in North Jutland, whose goal is to be self-sufficient in renewable energy by 2015.
Read more (Danish)
Danish trains to run on renewables
The Danish State Railways (DSB) have entered into a contract with DONG Energy under which all the power for their electric trains from 2008 on will come from renewable sources, including Danish wind power and foreign hydropower. DSB use some 250 GWh annually for their intercity trains and suburban trains in the Copenhagen area, while other local trains are diesel-powered.
Read more (Danish)
EU accepts Danish emissions plan
The EU Commission today announced that it has accepted the Danish plan for allocating CO2 emissions permits during the 2008-2012 period, with only very minor adjustments. While the two other Nordic EU members - Sweden and Finland - were allowed fewer permits than they had proposed, the only significant change ordered in the Danish case was a reduction from 19 % to 17 % in the share of emissions that Danish companies would be allowed to offset through CDM or JI projects. Minister for the Environment Connie Hedegaard is naturally satisfied.
Read more (Danish)
Energy and emissions taxes no longer to be frozen in Denmark
Shortly after taking power in 2001, the current centre-right Government in Denmark decided to freeze taxes on energy and GHG emissions at their existing nominal level, thereby making them slowly decline in real terms with inflation. On 21 August, the Government announced a new tax policy, under which these taxes hereafter will rise at the same rate as the consumer price index. The new policy is part of a tax package under which marginal income taxes will be reduced.
Read more (Danish)
Fewer cars in Danish cities
Car traffic in central Copenhagen has fallen by 4.5 % over the past two years, and other major Danish cities also report decreasing congestion. Increased parking fees have contributed to the drop in traffic in Copenhagen. However, the positive trend in central city areas seems to have been caused partly by movements of workplaces to suburban municipalities and countered by increasing traffic there and on ring roads.

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Danes may get compensation for effects of big windmills
The Danish Minister for the Environment, Ms. Connie Hedegaard, has welcomed a proposal that property owners who can show that the value of their properties has been lowered by nearby windmills should be compensated. The proposal comes from a commission that was set up to suggest ways of advancing Denmark's goal of substantially increasing wind power generation by replacing older windmills with newer and larger models. One of the major hindrances is opposition from people who live close to the wind farms.
Read more (Danish)
Wind power subsidy to be increased in Denmark
A proposal by the Danish Government to increase the subsidy on wind power from DKK 0.123 to DKK 0.2 (€ 0.026) during the first five years of new wind farms’ operations has been welcomed by the Opposition and the wind power industry alike. They hope this will get investments to pick up after several years of sluggish development. However, the opposition Social Democrats would have preferred a larger increase.
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Danish Government invites debate on national strategy for sustainable development
The Danish Government has presented a new draft strategy for sustainable development, entitled "Global Responsibility". 120 organisations have been invited to comment on the strategy, which will also be the subject of debate at a series of public meetings. Main points in the draft include a previously announced goal of increasing the share of renewable energy in Denmark to 30 % by 2020, and reducing CO2 emissions from the transport sector by 25 % (baseline 1988) by 2030.
Read more (Danish)
Vestas named world's greenest company
Danish wind turbine producer Vestas has taken first place in an environmental ranking of 3000 companies, carried out by British newspaper The Independent and Ethical Investment Research Services. Not only does Vestas produce renewable energy machines - they are also 80 % recyclable, and 68 % of the energy that goes into making them is renewable, according to the citation.
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New knowledge centre to teach energy efficiency in Denmark
A proposal by the opposition Socialist People's Party in Denmark to estblish a new "knowledge centre", dedicated to promoting energy efficiency in the building sector, has won the support of the governing parties and of Parliament. According to the Finance Ministry, improvements in this sector alone could reduce national energy consumption by as much as 35 per cent.
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Environmental expert to be fourth "wise man" in Denmark
The "three wise men" (vismænderne) are a household term in Denmark. It refers to the panel of chairmen of the Danish Economic Council, who are very influential as advisors to any Danish Government of the day on economic policy. Some years ago, environmentalists felt a need to establish an independent Ecological Council to provide alternative recommendations. Now an environmental expert has been admitted to the inner sanctum. The fourth "wise man" will be Dr. Eirik Schrøder Amundsen, a Professor of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics at the University of Copenhagen.
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Danish Minister blasts IEA's lack of sustainable energy perspective
At a ministerial meeting of the International Energy Agency (IEA) on 15 May, Danish Minister of Transport and Energy Flemming Hansen sharply critcised the organisastion for its lack of leadership on sustainability issues. According to Mr. Hansen, the IEA was good at producing business-as-usual scenarios, but had yet to show how energy systems could be changed to make sustainable development possible. Other Ministers backed Mr. Hansen's criticisms.
Flemming Hansen's remarks (Danish) - IEA communiqué (English)
Copenhagen shines at global gathering of mayors
The Mayor of Copenhagen, Ms. Ritt Bjerregaard, was reportedly one of the stars when the mayors of 40 of the world's largest cities convened i New York to discuss environmental issues. The fact that 97 % of heating needs in the Danish capital are covered by district heat made a strong impression, as did the high percentage of people who commute to work by bicycle.
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Denmark to step up support for environmental technology
The Danish Minister for the Environment, Ms. Connie Hedegaard, has announced plans for a more concerted effort to promote innovation and exports of environmental technology. Funding for the plan will include DKK 1.6 bn (€ 220 miilion) annually from the bugdets of several specified agencies, and so far unspecified additional money. The former sum includes DKK 500 million of extra funding for development of energy technology which was announced in January.
Read more (Danish)
Offshore wind power potential of 4600 MW in Denmark - study
An official study, led by the Danish Energy Authority and involving several other agencies and institutions, has concluded that the potential for offshore wind power development in Danish waters is 4600 MW by 2025. This would provide 18 TWh of electricity a year, or half of Denmark's current consumption.
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Low-emission vehicles to become cheaper in Denmark
On 26 April, the Danish Government announced that it had secured a parliamentary majority for its plan to differentiate the excise on new cars more according to their CO2 emissions. Small cars with low emissions will become cheaper by up to 20.000 DKK (€ 2800). Norway took a similar step in 2006. The two countries have some of the world's highest taxes on new cars - around 100 % by value on average - which provides a lot of leeway for such differentiation.

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Danish energy technology exports up by 18 % in 2006
Danish exports of energy technology products, spearheaded by wind turbines but also including a range of energy-saving equipment, grew by 18 % in 2006, according to figures released by the Danish Energy Authority. They totalled 46 billion DKK (€ 6.2 bn), three times more than ten years ago.

Read more (Danish)
Danes plan to test monster wind turbines
Danish wind turbine producers, who control 40 % of the world market, are preparing to scale up their turbines still further. The next generation will have power ratings of 5-10 MW - compared to 2-3 MW for today's large turbines - and be between 150-200 metres tall. The Ministers of Transport and Energy and of the Environment have now announced a short list of eight sites - six onshore and two offshore - which may be chosen to test the new turbines.

Read more (Danish)
Denmark to host 2009 climate summit
Denmark has been chosen to host the crucial 2009 Conference of the Parties to the UN Climate Convention, which is expected to attract 10.000 participants from 170 countries. The Government “hopes the summit can pick up where the Rio and Kyoto summits left off”.

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Danish CO2 emissions sharply up in 2006
Denmark’s emissions of carbon dioxide grew by 16 % from 2005 to 2006. This was largely because lower production of hydro-electricity in Norway and Sweden necessitated more generation from coal-fired plants in Denmark. Due to its integration in a Nordic electricity market with very large but weather-dependent hydro production, Denmark experiences greater annual shifts in CO2 emissions than any other European country.

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Denmark presents CDM/JI strategy
The Danish Ministry for the Environment presented a strategy document on how the Government will purchase Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) credits for up to 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year over the 2008-12 period. 1.13 billion DKK (€ 145 mn) have been set aside for these projects, which Denmark hopes will also boost markets for its environmental technology. Poland, Bulgaria and Romania are priority countries for JI projects. CDM projects are likely in South Africa and six Asian countries.

Read more (Danish)
Govt. claims new wind farms almost on track in Denmark
The Danish Government has recently been attacked by the Opposition for not upholding the agreement on energy policy of 2004, especially regarding new wind power developments. Minister of Transport and Energy Flemming Hansen claims that the Government has done everything expected of it, while admitting that the two new large offshore wind farms evisaged will come on stream one or two years late, i.e. in 2009 and 2010.

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Denmark to launch national climate campaign
Under the motto of "One tonne less", the Danish Ministies of the Environment and of Transport and Energy are to launch a joint campaign to get ordinary Danes to cut their GHG Emissions. The campaign strategy is available for download in Danish. The official launching date - 1 April - is hopefully not significant.

Read more (Danish)
Three "climate-neutral cities" for Denmark?
Denmark is likely to host the crucial 2009 Conference of the Parties to the UN Climate Convention. The Danish Radical Party has now proposed that by then, three Danish cities, towns or islands should be showcasing the way to a zero-carbon future, and that the Government should allocate an initial 60 million DKK (€ 8 million) to the project. The proposal is based on suggestions from the Danish energy industries' own annual "Energy Camp" futuring session, and supported by environmental NGOs.

Read more (Danish)
Denmark to prioritise commercial application of renewables
The Danish Government recently announced that funding for RD&D on renewable energy will double to DKK 1 billion within 2010. Minister of Transport and Energy Flemming Hansen has now made it clear that the emphasis will be on demonstration and commercialisation, rather than more research. The head of the new body that will administer the programme "must have a business background".

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Big aluminium smelter for Greenland?
Two major aluminium companies are reportedly eyeing Greenland's large but hitherto almost untapped hydropower resources. The Home Rule Adminsitration of Greenland has signed an agreement with both ALCOA and Hydro of Norway to conduct feasibility studies on the establisment of a 300.000-ton-a-year aluminium plant at Søndre Strømfjord on the east coast. Along with a hydro-electric plant to supply the necessary electricity, the project would require an estimated investment of DKK 15 billion (€ 2 billion).

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FOE Denmark call new energy strategy "a bad joke"
NOAH, the Danish Friends of the Earth organisation, today dismissed the Danish Government's new Energy Strategy (story below) as "totally inadequate", adding that the goal of reducing GHG emissions by 15 % "almost amounts to a bad joke". In NOAHs view, Denmark needs to reduce its emissions to "close to nil within 40 to 50 years".
NOAH press release (Danish) [25.01.07]

Denmark to double renewable energy by 2025
The Danish Government has presented a new energy strategy, with the aim of doubling the renewable share of primary energy use from 15 % to 30 % by 2025. Total energy use is to stay at its present level, so that fossil fuel consumption will be reduced correspondingly.

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Map of Denmark is redrawn
On January 1, the number of municipalities in Denmark was reduced by almost two-thirds, from 271 to 98. This follows a transitional year in which the old municipalities continued to exist, but under merged councils. In 2004, the Government had announced that all municipalities with populations of less than 20.000 would be required either to merge with one or more neighbours or to enter into closer co-operation with other municipalities.

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Denmark starts programme to monitor Greenland ice
For several years there has been much uncertainty about how fast the inland ice on Greenland is melting. This is the reason why Denmark today announced the initiation of a programme to systematically monitor the melting of the Greenland ice.

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Report suggests new parterships for green technology
Danish Minister of environment Connie Hedegaard has presented a report descibing how to strengthen environmentally efficient technologies. Among the nine main initiatives in the report is a plan to create new binding partnerships between industry, research institutions and authorities.

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More on Danish climate and energy policy | Report (Danish) [08.06.06]

Denmark launches green exports campaign
An ambitious political initiative has been launched by the environment, energy and foreign ministries to strengthen Denmark 's export of advanced energy- and environmental technology.

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More on Danish climate and energy policy | Press release (Danish) [30.5.06]

Denmark creates national parks?
A broad national committee has delivered its recommendations on the establishment of national parks in Denmark. Following pilot projects in 7 locations, a surprising agreement was reached this week in the 32 man strong committee which included agricultural interests. Minister for the Environment Connie Hedegaard will now start the preparation of a law on national parks to be presented in the fall. If the proposition is accepted, Denmark will have established its first national parks.

More on Danish national policies | Homepage on the national parks [02.03.06]

Lower priority to environmental crime?
A new study from The Danish Environmental Protection Agency of sanctions in criminal cases in the areas of environment, nature and planning, looks at almost 250 criminal cases completed in 2003 and 2004. The study shows that only very few cases have resulted in very significant sanctions, and that there has been a marked decrease in sanctions in serious cases. The material does not show whether or not this is due to the fact that such infringements no longer occur, or whether it is merely because they are not reported. [19.12.2005]
Summary of the report

A campaign for environmental awareness in daily life!
The Danish environment minister Connie Hedegaard has launched a campaign to make Danes "take more account of environment in their daily life". The campaign features a website,, with over 100 suggestions for saving energy and cutting pollution. The website illustrates in a creative and inspireing way that each one of us can contribute to sustainable development [25.11.2005]
Press release (Danish)
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High subsidies to diesel filters in the budget for 2006
The Danish budget for 2006 was presented this week, and allocates 1 billion DKr more to environmental protection. 40 million Euros in subsidies for diesel particle filters heads the list of environmental initiatives. Other allocations include 62 million DKr for a new chemical action plan and 20 million DKr per year for research on biodiesel. [11.11.2005]
Press release (Danish)

New state of the environment report emphasises clear targets
Denmarks 2005 state of the environment report concludes that "the best results are achieved when clear targets are set". The main future challenges identified by NERI are climate change, pressure on natural habitats and surface water quality, public health, and consumption of resources. Minister of environment Connie Hedegaard promises new action plans on environmental technology and chemicals, and a public information campaign on "green personal responsibility". [26.09.2005]
The 2005 report (Danish) | Summary (PDF in Danish)

Ministers of Environment meet in Greenland
Denmark holds the Presidency for the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2005, and several Nordic ministerial meetings took place in August. The Nordic ministers for energy met from August 8.-10. to discuss the Nordic energy policy co-operation for the next four years. The Nordic environment ministers met on August 15. On the days following this meeting the Danish Minister for the Environment, Connie Hedegaard, in co-operation with the Greenland Home Rule Government, hosted an informal meeting to promote a dialogue on climate co-operation. Approximately 25 environmental ministers attended the meeting. [15.08.2005]

Education for Sustainable Development - Building Capacity and Empowerment
The conference Education for Sustainable Development was held at Esbjerg, Denmark, 19-22 May 2005. The conference emphasized implementing the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in national education systems and in the new European Framework of COMENIUS (European Cooperation on School Education) actions. It was one of the first major events in the framework of the United Nations Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) 2005 - 2014. [20.05.2005]

Danish study reveals "most damaging" products
(ENDS) A long list of industries and consumer practices have been "outed" in Danish research as particularly environmentally damaging. The study anticipates the European Commission's promise to identify by 2007 the products with greatest potential for environmental improvement. It could make a significant contribution to the development of an EU integrated product policy (IPP). [11.04.2005]

Gas beats bio fuels
According to calculations from the Danish Gas Technology Centre, production of distant heating in kettles of natural gas is a lesser strain on the environment than bio fuels. [09.03.2005]


Danish Prime Minister re-elected
In the elections of february 2005 Anders Fogh Rasmussen (V) got a second term, with his block taking 95 of the 179 seats in the Parliament. His contestant Mogens Lykketoft resigned as leader of his party after the defeat.[09.02.2005]