Denmark faces long journey to reach low emissions car goal

The number of electric and hybrid cars on Danish roads has increased significantly in recent years but the country is a long way from the target of one million green cars by 2030.

Denmark faces long journey to reach low emissions car goal
Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

At the beginning of this year, 61,581 electric and hybrid cars were registered in Denmark, an increase of 142 percent over the last year, news wire Ritzau reports.

But the increase only represents 2.3 percent of the total number of private vehicles in Denmark, which totals 2.72 million.

The target of one million cars by 2030 was agreed in December last year by the government and left wing allies the Red Green Alliance, Social Liberal and Socialist People’s parties.

Although the overall ambition in relation to green cars is to increase their numbers on Danish roads to one million, the December deal secured a budget for 775,000 cars. That will be promoted by adjusting fees and taxes, for example by reducing the cost of owning a car with lower CO2 emissions.

READ ALSO: Denmark announces plan to put 775,000 electric cars on roads by 2030

Denmark’s car industry expects the number of low emissions cars to increase further in 2021.

“There’s no reason to think that the positive trend in relation to the green conversion in car parks won’t also continue this year,” Thomas Møller Sørensen, industry director for the Confederation of Danish Industry’s car sector, told Ritzau in a written comment.    

“We are hearing from car dealers that new green car taxes, open showrooms and holiday money payouts all together are giving a belief that we can also expect a doubling of the number of green cars on the roads in Denmark,” he added.

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Greenland foreign minister axed over independence remarks

Greenland's pro-independence foreign minister Pele Broberg was demoted on Monday after saying that only Inuits should vote in a referendum on whether the Arctic territory should break away from Denmark.

Greenland foreign minister axed over independence remarks
Greenland's pro-independence minister Pele Broberg (far R) with Prime Minister Mute Egede (2nd R), Danish foreign minister Jeppe Kofod and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (2nd R) at a press briefing in Greenland in May 2021. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Rye Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix

Prime Minister Mute Egede, who favours autonomy but not independence, said the ruling coalition had agreed to a reshuffle after a controversial interview by the minister of the autonomous Arctic territory.

Broberg was named business and trade minister and Egede will take on the foreign affairs portfolio.

The prime minister, who took power in April after a snap election, underscored that “all citizens in Greenland have equal rights” in a swipe at Broberg.

Broberg in an interview to Danish newspaper Berlingske said he wanted to reserve voting in any future referendum on independence to Inuits, who comprise more than 90 percent of Greenland’s 56,000 habitants.

“The idea is not to allow those who colonised the country to decide whether they can remain or not,” he had said.

In the same interview he said he was opposed to the term the “Community of the Kingdom” which officially designates Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, saying his country had “little to do” with Denmark.

Greenland was a Danish colony until 1953 and became a semi-autonomous territory in 1979.

The Arctic territory is still very dependent on Copenhagen’s subsidies of around 526 million euros ($638 million), accounting for about a third of its budget.

But its geostrategic location and massive mineral reserves have raised international interest in recent years, as evidenced by former US president Donald Trump’s swiftly rebuffed offer to buy it in 2019.

READ ALSO: US no longer wants to buy Greenland, Secretary of State confirms

Though Mute Egede won the election in April by campaigning against a controversial uranium mining project, Greenland plans to expand its economy by developing its fishing, mining and tourism sectors, as well as agriculture in the southern part of the island which is ice-free year-round.

READ ALSO: Danish, Swiss researchers discover world’s ‘northernmost’ island