Danish party calls for ‘green restart’ after coronavirus crisis

Danish party calls for 'green restart' after coronavirus crisis
A Nissan Leaf loading at a Clever loading point last year. Photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Ritzau Scanpix
The Danish government's main supporting party has called for a "green restart" to the country's economy, with investments in heat pumps, charging stations for cars, new rail projects and incentives for replacing oil and gas boilers.
“We need a green restart, so that the health crisis doesn't turn into a deep economic crisis, and so that the battle against the climate crisis does get left behind and forgotten,” Morten Østergaard, leader of the Social Liberal party said on Twitter. 
“If the restart of Denmark is to be green, now is the time to decide,” he later told TV2
 
The party played a key role after last summer in pushing the ruling Social Democrats into setting a goal of reducing  carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030, one of the most ambitious in Europe. 
 
On Thursday, it proposed 13 green initiatives that it believes will help kickstart the Danish economy when it comes off life support after Easter, at the same time as bringing the country closer to meeting its challenging green target. 
 
Morten Østergaard in Denmark's parliament on Thursday. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix
 
The plans to relaunch Denmark's economy with a wave of public investment echo those floated by the opposition Liberal Party on Wednesday. 
 
The party's leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen called for billions of kroner to be spent on infrastructure, public housing and offshore wind turbines. 
 
“We believe that these things can just as well be brought forward, so that many of the companies that have empty order books these days can get started,” Ellemann-Jensen said. 
 
 
Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen told TV2 that he would not reveal which, or any, of the proposals he might back until after the government had presented its own relaunch package. 
 
Among the Social Liberal party's proposals are: 
  • Spending 18.4bn kroner on making Denmark's housing greener and more energy efficient. 
  • Public funding for expanding the country's network of charging points for electric cars 
  • Eliminating tax on selling surplus heat from industrial processes, making it more attractive to capture and sell to public heating utilities. 
  • Spending 200m kroner on installing heat pumps, and setting up subsidies for disposing of oil and gas boilers. 
  • A 500m fund to speed the rapid phase out of coal. 
  • Funds for a high-speed rail connection between Ringsted and Odense, and upgrading the railway on the western side of Funen. 
 

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