The climate initiative in Denmark


The Danish government's climate policy is subject to EU targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions for 2030 and for EU to become climate neutral by 2050 at the latest.

The Danish climate initiative up to 2020

As an EU Member State, Denmark is obliged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. EU has set a target of at least 55 percent net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The European Commission has proposed a package to revise several pieces of EU climate legislation, including the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), Effort Sharing Regulation (non-ETS sectors), transport and land use legislation, setting out in real terms the ways in which the Commission intends to reach the EU climate targets. The EU ETS includes today the energy sector and the most energy-intensive companies in the EU. Non-ETS sectors include transport, agriculture, buildings, and waste.

Emissions from the ETS sectors are adjusted at EU level by means of the quota system. Consequently, Denmark does not have a national target for the ETS sector.

The Danish climate initiative up to 2030

In 2020, EU leaders updated the 2030 climate and energy framework. The update involved an adjustment to increase the target of at least 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to at least 55 percent.

The 2030 framework, therefore, now contains a binding reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions of at least 55 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 base levels. The target has been made legally binding through the adoption of the European Climate Law.

To achieve a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, the Commission has tabled a European Green Deal  which includes a  number of wide-ranging policy initiatives– from renewables to energy efficiency , energy performance of buildings, as well as land use, energy taxation, effort sharing, emissions trading and a new instrument as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. In addition, the Commission has proposed measures to implement Europe's circular economy action plan, the EU biodiversity strategy and the farm to fork strategy.

The government's 2050 target                

It is the government's ambition that Denmark will be a net-zero emission society by 2050, meaning that we absorb at least as much greenhouse gas as we emit.

To fulfill the policy objectives sustainable transitions of energy supply and the transport sector are necessary and must be based on renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar energy, biofuels and thermal energy. A reduction of the consumption of fossil fuels in the energy supply for electricity, heating, industrial processing and transport is contingent upon considerable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The government's ambition is an important contribution to fulfil the EU’s target of becoming climate neutral by 2050 at the latest, compared to 1990 base levels. The transition to renewable energy systems and increasing global demand for green technologies will contribute to economic growth, job creation and further strengthening of the leadership position of Danish companies in the fields of energy, climate and environmental technology.

The Danish Law on climate

The law on climate was passed on 18 June 2020 by a majority consisting of the Social Democratic Party, Venstre (the Danish Liberal Party), Dansk Folkeparti (The Danish People’s Party), Radikale Venstre (the Danish Social-Liberal Party), Socialistisk Folkeparti (the Danish Socialist People's Party), Enhedslisten (the Unity List), Konservativt Folkeparti (the Conservative People's Party) and Alternativet (the Alternative).

The law on climate establishes a strategic framework for Denmark's climate policy to be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030. Denmark’s climate policy aims for a resource efficient society with a renewable based energy supply and significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors. Furthermore, the law on climate establishes a strategic framework for Denmark to reach the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 as proposed in the the European Green Deal.


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