Denmark Passes Climate Change Act
Climate change represents a serious threat to our welfare society, the business community and individual citizens. However, with the Climate Change Act – passed by the Danish Parliament on January 12 – Denmark is taking its share of responsibility for limiting climate change, according to Minister for Climate, Energy and Building Rasmus Helveg Petersen.
The Climate Change Act will ensure that successive governments address climate change issues seriously. The Act will also drive continuous progress to ensure that the government achieves its goal of Danish society being based 100% on renewable energy and significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“In Denmark, we have the opportunity to limit our impact on climate change. It is therefore our duty to do so. We must achieve the target we have set ourselves, and Denmark must inspire in the rest of the world the confidence and hope that climate change can be mitigated before the damage is too great. By passing the Climate Change Act, a majority of the Danish Parliament has shouldered the responsibility for Denmark’s active climate policy,” says Minister for Climate, Energy and Building Rasmus Helveg Petersen.
The Climate Change Act will drive the progress and visibility of climate policy efforts. In accordance with the Act, a permanent and independent Climate Council will be established consisting of highly skilled experts specialising in energy, transport, buildings, agriculture, environment, nature and economics. A minimum of once a year, the Climate Council will propose recommendations on climate policy initiatives to the government and will contribute to the public debate on Denmark’s climate policy. The Council will be appointed for one 4-year period at a time and will comprise a chairman and six expert members.
Each year, the Minister for Climate, Energy and Building will submit a Climate Policy Report to the Danish Parliament to take stock of Denmark’s greenhouse gas emissions and its compliance with national greenhouse gas targets and international climate agreements.
In addition, the Climate Change Act will require the incumbent Minister for Climate, Energy and Building at any time to propose national greenhouse gas reduction targets once every five years. These greenhouse gas reduction targets will have a ten-year perspective and a level of ambition in alignment with 2050.
“The Climate Change Act is a powerful tool. We will use it as a lever to move towards a greener Denmark in the years ahead. This is a momentous day for those of us wishing to take responsibility for Danish climate initiatives,” says Rasmus Helveg Petersen.
The Climate Change Act was passed by a majority of the Danish Parliament comprising the government, the Danish Socialist People’s Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti), the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), and the Conservative People’s Party (Det Konservative Folkeparti).
Press release; Image: Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building