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Denmark - Climate

Denmark’s government announced a “new political direction” based on an ambitious climate manifesto, released 26 June 2019. Social Democrat leader Mette Frederiksen became the country’s new prime minister after she secured a political deal with three other left-wing parties to form a one-party minority government. Under the agreement, the new government pledged to introduce binding decarbonisation goals and strengthen its 2030 target to reduce emissions by 70% below the 1990 level – the current target is 40%. The left-wing alliance acknowledged this was “a very ambitious target” and that the last five points of emissions reduction to 70% would be “particularly difficult to reach”. The new government roadmap was agreed by the Social Democrats, the centrist Danish Social Liberal Party, the Socialist People’s Party and the Red-Green Alliance.

The Danish weather is known for being variable. It is a fact that it rains or snows every other day in Denmark, since a year has an average of 171 days of precipitation. Denmark has mild winters without large amounts of snow, but with much rain. On average, it snows seven days every month in December, January and February. This decreases to five days of snow in March, and April has an average of three days of snow. In a year, the average temperature generally varies from 0 °C in January to 16 °C in August. Great variations occur in relation to the average. The coldest day in more than 100 years was a January day in 1982 with temperatures of -31 °C, and the warmest day was an August day in 1975 with temperatures of 36 °C.

A natural feature of everyday life in Denmark is overcast days and many clouds in the sky. The clouds cover an average of two thirds of the sky in a year, but the summer is the least cloudy season with an average cloudiness of 60 per cent. Denmark is a country where the total hours of sunshine a year gives occasion to enjoy the sun while it is out. There is an average of four hours of sunshine a day, naturally primarily during the spring and summertime. From May to August,there are more than six hours of sunshine a day.

Over 86 percent of the global warming potential from Danish greenhouse gases came from CO2 in 2011. Methane accounted for 6 per cent, while nitrous oxide contributed 7 percent. The emissions of halocarbons constituted less than 1 per cent of the total Danish global warming potential. By converting the emissions into CO2-equivalents account have been taken for the fact that the effects of the substances on the atmosphere, and, thus, their global warming potentials, are different.

When CO2, methane and nitrous oxide emissions are taken as a whole and assessed in relation to their global warming potential, in 1990 the industries contributed approximately 87 per cent of all Danish man-made emissions and in 2011 their share had increased to 91 per cent, with households making up the remaining emissions. Agriculture, fishing and quarrying contributed 12 per cent of the global warming potential. It is largely due to emissions of methane and nitrous oxide from agriculture, while emissions of CO2 played a minor role.

In 2011, electricity, gas and water supply contributed 20 per cent of the global warming potential from greenhouse gases. This includes all Danish production of electricity and district heating. All emissions in connection with production of electricity and district heating come from this industry, while the use of electricity and district heating in the industries and households cause no direct emissions.

Trade and transport caused 47 per cent of the global warming potential from CO2, methane and nitrous oxide. Included are all emissions from businesses that carry out transport as a service to other businesses and households both in Denmark and abroad. On the other hand, it does not include transport activities carried out by businesses and households on their own behalf, using their own cars and lorries, etc.

Denmark strongly advocates environmental protection and makes its own contribution. The motto is sustainable development. The economic growth must not damage the environment or put a strain on nature. Means to achieve this include taxes on energy consumption and waste water discharge. Although it could reduce the CO2 emission, nuclear power will not be introduced in Denmark. 66% of all waste is recycled.

Sustainability means different things to different people. To the Danes, sustainability is a holistic approach that includes renewable energy, water management, waste recycling, and green transportation including the bicycling culture. Through decades of extraordinary and sustained efforts, Denmark has built a world-class green energy system that delivers a cleaner everyday life and more green energy. In particular, Denmark has focused on making buildings more energy-efficient, an important contributor in a country where heating is required for more than half of the year.

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Page last modified: 24-09-2019 19:12:39 ZULU