Denmark’s Plan for a Green Future

In the run-up to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, this November, there is a need for renewed momentum in the global fight against climate change.

Today, more than 50 percent of Denmark’s electrical grid is powered by wind and solar energy; by 2027, we expect renewables to meet 100 percent of our electricity needs.

But rather than teem with vacationers, it is home to hundreds of wind turbines, industrial halls, and fuel tanks providing clean electricity, clean fuels, and green innovation for millions of European households.

Over the past four decades, Denmark has developed a cutting-edge wind industry.

Today, onshore wind power is the cheapest energy source available in Denmark and much of the United States.

In time, the energy islands will allow us to turn green electricity into green hydrogen for use as fuels in industries not suitable for direct electrification.

This achievement will mark a groundbreaking uptick in potential for offshore wind.

Ensuring these engines of industry can go green is a key component of Denmark’s climate agenda.

Their transition was possible because of a joint public-private focus on transferring competencies, resources, and assets from the oil and gas sector to new, green industries.

Over the past nine years, the facilities of the old shipyard have generated 3,000 new jobs—replacing those that had been terminated due to the shipyard’s closing.

Denmark’s commitment to a socially fair transition is reflected in our leadership of the International Energy Agency’s new global commission on people-centered clean energy transitions, a body in which the United States is also represented.

Denmark cooperates bilaterally on the green energy transition with 16 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America that together produce more than 60 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

The public-private partnerships in the shipping industry, for example, work hard to pave the way for carbon-neutral ships, green port infrastructure, and green fuels.

Just two years from now—in 2023—the world’s leading container shipping company, Maersk, will launch its first carbon-neutral container ship.

Denmark welcomes the strong leadership that the new Biden administration is taking on green energy transformation, and, at this week’s Leaders Summit, we stand ready to support it.

This decade is a crucial one in the fight for our planet—but together, we can build back better.

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