The petition, which was signed by 65,000 people making it eligible for parliamentary procedure, does not have an overall majority, with the government and Danish People’s Party not in support.
Entitled ‘Dansk klimalov nu’ (Danish climate law now), the petition seeks more affirmative action from the government on climate change.
Minister for the Environment Lars Christian Lilleholt said several times during parliamentary debate of the petition that the government saw positive elements and agreed with many of the positions set out in it.
Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) MP Ida Auken tweeted a video showing some of Lilleholt’s comments.
“We take an open stance on all the elements of the petition,” Lilleholt said, and stressed that the government’s position on climate had “moved”.
Auken argued that the petition was suitable to be used to form a new law “now”.
I disse timer behandles borgerforslaget om klimaloven. Og vi har allerede i fællesskab flyttet regeringen. Det er godt. Jeg lover, at jeg slipper dem ikke, før de har stemt for. #klimalov #klima #HandlingNU #dkpol #dkgreen pic.twitter.com/T0fyvq48gK
— Ida Auken (@IdaAuken) February 26, 2019
A new climate law, scheduled to be tabled after general elections set for no later than June this year, will draw inspiration from some of the elements of the petition, the Lilleholt said.
The Danish People’s Party adopted the same line as the government.
Christian Poll, spokesperson for the environment with the Alternative party, said that the line taken by the government did not match the ambition of the public petition.
Another opposition party, Pernille Skipper, lead spokesperson with the Red-Green Alliance, said that Lilleholt’s praise for the petition was “hot air”.
The minister rejected that claim.
“There are not many things in the petition which we can’t give our 100 percent support,” he said in response to Auken’s appeals for the government to vote in its favour.
The petition was raised by 11 environmental and developmental organisations.
It seeks a commitment from Denmark to set climate targets that match the Paris Agreement, and has a stated aim of preventing global temperature from rising by no more than 2 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial age.
Additionally, the petition calls for five-year climate targets to be set at least 15 years into the future.
Denmark’s current legislation for climate targets was set in 2014 under the previous Social Democrat-led government.