• Denmark's news in English
Denmark looks to lower its climate goals
Critics warned that a reduction in Denmark's climate goals could impact the Paris climate talks. Photo: Henning Bagger/Scanpix

Denmark looks to lower its climate goals

The Local · 20 Aug 2015, 08:46

Published: 20 Aug 2015 08:46 GMT+02:00

Saying that the previous government’s goal to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent in 2020 compared to 1990 levels will be too expensive for Danish businesses, Climate Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt said on Wednesday that he will not push to meet the benchmark. 
Instead, Lilleholt said it is enough to stick to already-approved climate initiatives that the Danish Energy Agency (Energistyrelsen) estimates will result in a 37 percent carbon dioxide reduction. 
“It will be very expensive for the Danish society to reach those last percentage points and will therefore impose extra costs on our business community. That is not what Denmark needs right now,” Lilleholt told Altinget. 
Although a three percentage point difference may not seem overly significant, Lilleholt’s remarks created a furore, especially in light of the coming climate talks in Paris. 
The COP21 UN climate change conference in December is seen by many as one of the best chances to get the international community to commit to binding goals to curb climate change. By sinking Denmark’s ambitions just months before the talks begin, critics argued that Lilleholt is sending a bad message. 
“This is irresponsible because it comes just before the essential climate conference in Paris in December. Denmark is a frontrunner and a step back will be noticed,” Pia Olsen Dyhr, the leader of the Socialist People’s Party (SF), told Altinget. 
In addition to SF, the Social Liberals (Radikale), the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) and even government support party the Conservatives voiced their disapproval of the scaled-back ambitions. 
The Danish branch of environmental organization the World Wildlife Fund also cast doubt on Lilleholt’s reasoning, telling Politiken that Denmark has created many green jobs in recent years and that failing to reach for loftier climate goals “is definitely not an extended hand to the Danish business community”. 
On Twitter, Nordbo called the lower goals “damaging” to Denmark, while the Danish Ecological Council warned that Lilleholt’s plan would risk “undermining” the Paris conference. 
Story continues below…
The Danish People’s Party, the largest party in the so-called blue bloc that supports the Venstre government, said it would support Lilleholt’s plan but without the Conservatives on board, it is uncertain if the government can muster a majority in parliament for settling for the 37 percent reduction mark. 

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Danish family reunification laws discriminate: court
The court said that Danish rules unfairly discriminate against those who obtain citizenship later in life. Photo: Colourbox

Denmark’s family reunification laws discriminate against those who achieve citizenship later in life, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday.

Brit visits Copenhagen on Brexit fact-finding mission
Rebecca Sumner Smith plans to visit the 27 other EU countries before next month's referendum. Photo: Submitted

The Local caught up with British expat Rebecca Sumner Smith when she stopped in the Danish capital as part of her mission to speak to fellow Brits across the EU.

Copenhagen touts ‘organic food revolution’

An impressive 88 percent of all food served in the City of Copenhagen’s public institutions is organic, according to new figures released by the city.

SAS cancellations at Copenhagen to last days
The technical issues will leave SAS ten aircraft short. Photo: SAS

Technical issues with its flight of CRJ900 aircraft will leave SAS ten planes short through Thursday, causing the airline to cancel dozens of additional flights.

Danish teen jailed for Facebook terror threat
The man is a Danish citizen with a Lebanese background. Photo: Colourbox

19-year-old Aarhus man found guilty of encouraging terror by posting an Isis video.

'Inflatable refugee' visits Copenhagen on a mission
The 'Inflatable Refugee' is scheduled to arrive in Copenhagen on Monday afternoon. Photo: Schellekens & Peleman

A project meant to symbolize the journey refugees go through to reach Europe will arrive in the Danish capital on Monday.

My Danish Career
'My goal is to get Denmark eating pies'
Wild Kiwi Pies owner Stuart Thrush. Photo: Melanie Haynes

In the newest instalment of My Danish Career, The Local speaks with New Zealander Stuart Thrush, who traded out the corporate life for a Copenhagen pie adventure.

Toy 'arms race' turning Lego violent: study
Weapons are now included in 30 percent of all Lego kits. Photo: Caleb Wagoner/Flickr

"The Lego company's products are not as innocent as they used to be."

SAS cancels flights in and out of Copenhagen
Photo: Johan Nilsson/Scanpix

As of Monday morning, 17 departures and 22 arrivals at Copenhagen Airport had been cancelled due to a tecnical issue.

Denmark wins world badminton team title
Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark celebrates his victory against Anthony Ginting of Indonesia. Photo: Scanpix

Denmark beat Indonesia 3-2 in the Thomas Cup final Sunday, securing the nation's first world badminton team championship after racking up eight second-place finishes over the decades.

Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
Denmark picks F-35 in historic jet purchase
Denmark to no longer define transgender as mental illness
Danish minister tells 'Sharia' troublemakers to 'get a job'
Danish 'martyr' exhibit reported to police
Denmark extends 'temporary' border measures for sixth time
Denmark nears final decision on controversial fighter jets
Muslim ‘girls only’ swimming sessions ripple Danish waters
Could Danes face a 'red meat tax' to help climate?
Denmark unable to process or issue visas
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
Business & Money
How Denmark’s national bank card is about to change
The best Danish bands you've (maybe) never heard of
Danes leaving the church in droves
Atheist campaign gets Danes to leave the church in droves
Four Isis ‘recruits’ arrested in Copenhagen
Four Isis ‘recruits’ arrested in Copenhagen
Business & Money
Unwrapping Denmark's first zero-packaging food store
Copenhagen has world's highest transport prices
Analysis & Opinion
What's the deal with those 'wild' Danish kids?
Denmark prepares to take on 'hate preachers'
jobs available