Green job creation and a just transition

The climate fight is not a choice between the environment and economic growth.

On the contrary, making our energy system more sustainable goes hand in hand with job creation, export promotion, technological development, private-sector innovation - and better quality of life for all our citizens.

Take the North Sea as an example.

In the coastal city of Esbjerg, most people work in the huge port, or their jobs are somehow connected to it.

Not that long ago, many people worked in Esbjerg’s prosperous oil industry – an industry that has brought Denmark billions of dollars since the 70s

However, as the oil industry began to decline, the jobs disappeared. And in December 2020, a broad majority in the Danish Parliament decided to finally set an end date to oil drilling in the North Sea.

By 2050, the oil industry in Denmark – and its jobs - will be nothing more than history.

The good news is that the clean energy transition will bring new opportunities.

The story of Esbjerg has become a showcase for how the green transition can create new jobs and catalyze economic growth. Today, the port of Esbjerg stands as the biggest disembarkation site for offshore windmills in all of Northern Europe.

Denmark has been guided by two key principles throughout this transition.

#1 - The green transition must not increase inequality in society.

If the green transition becomes an elitist project for the middle class in the major cities, it will only divide us and further exacerbate disparities in our society.

#2 - The green transition must produce growth and jobs.

In order to build a clean energy future, we must ensure opportunity and prosperity for workers and communities today.

That is why we never lose focus on enabling our citizens to benefit from the transition - and protect those who might be vulnerable to it.

Through robust retraining and regional development, we have proven the ability to create new jobs where old ones are lost.

To succeed in achieving our climate goals, Denmark puts its people at the center of the clean energy transition.


In December 2020, a broad majority in the Danish Parliament reached a deal on the future of fossil extraction in the North Sea, leading to the cancellation of the 8th licensing round and all future rounds to extract oil and gas in the region.

The deal also establishes a final phase-out date of fossil extraction by 2050 and lays out plans for a just transition of impacted workers.

Denmark started extracting fossil fuels in the North Sea in 1972. Since then, Denmark has made around 541 billion DKK in revenue from the North Sea. In 2019, the number was 5.9 billion DKK.

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