EXPRESS #2 - October 18, 2018
The Danish government on 9 October published its new climate plan – Together for a greener future.
Key initiatives in the new “climate and air proposal” include:
- Phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030.
- Zero carbon emissions and zero air pollution from busses in Denmark’s cities by 2030.
- A climate- and environmentally-efficient agricultural sector, with a strong focus on research.
- Clean air in big cities through stricter environmental zones.
- Lower emissions from industry and housing.
- Behavioural campaign with climate labelling.
- Research efforts to develop carbon capture and storage technologies for use in Denmark’s fields and forests.
If you think that, apart from the first measure, concretes are lacking, you are right. As Jesper Berggreen writes on Cleantechnica, this plan is the second of two parts. The first part was the “Energy — for a green Denmark” which was boosted considerably in the rare consensus by all parties in parliament in July where for instance the plans for adding 8 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power was tripled to 24 GW.”
Berggreen discusses some of the initiatives in somewhat more detail.
With regard to clean transport, “in the year 2030, the last diesel and gasoline powered car will have been sold, and in 2035 the last plug-in hybrid will have had its time in the spotlight. All cars sold beyond that will be zero-emission cars, and in their base form that means electric, no matter the origin of the electricity, as long as no carbon is added to the atmosphere in the process.”
“To kick-start the process, it is decided that in 2019 and 2020 there will be no tax on electric vehicles up to DKK 400,000 ($62,000 — though when you account for import tariffs and VAT it reflects a US base price of $40,000).”
“The target is 1 million electric vehicles (including plug-in hybrids) on the Danish roads by 2030. This is less radical than some other countries, but it’s just another government underlining the obvious: The internal combustion engine is dying, fast.”
“Taxis have to be zero-emission from 2030 onward, and to accelerate this, any taxi license based on a zero-emission vehicle will be guaranteed, starting in 2019.”
“New buses has to be carbon neutral (biofuel) starting in 2020. New buses must be zero-emission in cities starting in 2025. And eventually all new buses has to be zero-emission starting in 2030.”
“On all state roads in the country (3,800 km, 2360 miles) a new low-resistance (and low-noise) asphalt will be used for road repair and new segments.”
The Danish government will install a commission to study how the lost tax revenue from the car sector can be made up, notes Berggreen.
With regard to heating, “the work in reducing the use of oil and natural gas for heating is linked to the overall plan to reach a fully renewable energy system by 2050. No more fossil fuels means just that: No more fossil fuels. The government thinks Denmark has the technology to show for it.”
Quote from the plan: Many Danish companies are among the world’s leading when it comes to developing, delivering, and applying solutions to reduce air pollution. In 2016, Danish companies exported DKK 7.3 billion ($1.1 billion) worth of clean air solutions to the global markets. But we can do even better. The government therefore has launched the Clean Air vision in cooperation with the industry. The goal is clear: to double exports of clean air technologies by 2030 and make Denmark a global showcase for clean air solutions.
The Danish government is also looking at carbon capture initiatives, notes Berggreen. Quote from the plan: “The government will host a conference on CO2 uptake and CO2 storage in November 2018. Here, experts and decision makers will be brought together to explore further action in this area. The conference will affect both the technological and the biological methods available for uptake and storing of CO2.”
The Danish government has joined the global Carbon Neutrality Coalition with the goal of reaching global carbon emission neutrality no later than 2050.