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Sunday, June 23, 2024

From local action to global impact: Denmark’s groundbreaking climate plan

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When local and national climate action efforts work together, groundbreaking results can be achieved. The DK2020 project brings together almost all Danish municipalities to create an ambitious climate action plan. The significant impact of this collaboration has been published in a report ahead of COP28, with city leaders ready to share their climate insights and expertise with national governments.

A world first in Denmark

Denmark will soon become the first country in the world to have every municipality develop a climate action plan to reduce emissions and keep global warming at a safe level. The impact of this joint effort has great potential, with Denmark’s local authorities aiming to reduce Denmark’s total emissions by 76% by 2030 compared to 1990. Masu.

The importance of this joint achievement cannot be overstated. The world is well short of the Paris Agreement goals and is likely to break the safe limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2027. According to the United Nations, global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions need to be reduced by 45% by the end of the Paris Agreement. 10 years compared to 2010 levels. Governments at all levels urgently need to come up with clear plans to reduce emissions.

That’s exactly what Danish mayors are doing as part of the DK2020 project. We are bringing together local authorities to develop ambitious and robust climate action plans using the C40 Climate Action Planning Framework, which will collectively deliver transformative national emissions reductions.

DK2020 was founded in 2019 by Danish charity Realdania, inspired by C40’s Deadline 2020 program. Cooperation with Danish Municipalities and his five regions in Denmark helped expand the 20 initial pilot programs and invite all municipalities to participate. Green think tank CONCITO and C40 Cities are knowledge partners.

Currently, 95 of Denmark’s 98 municipalities have developed climate action plans in line with the Paris Agreement. By the end of 2024, all 98 municipalities in Denmark’s five regions will have implemented or developed these plans.

Effects of collective action

A report released ahead of COP28 reveals how impactful the DK2020 Climate Action Plan will be. Danish municipalities will reduce GHG emissions from a baseline of 48.5 million tonnes (2017-2020) to 18.3 million tonnes by 2030 by taking action across sectors such as energy, transport and agriculture That’s what I’m aiming for. The biggest transformation will harness clean, renewable resources in the energy sector, achieving a 92% reduction in fossil fuel emissions.

In 2020, Denmark set a goal to reduce domestic emissions by 70% by 2030 compared to 1990. Inspired by the country’s climate leadership, 95% of Denmark’s municipalities have set a goal of reducing emissions by more than 70% by 2030. If all municipalities’ climate plans are successfully implemented, local leaders could reduce their emissions by 73% by 2030, contributing to the realization of Denmark’s national goals.

All of this important local activity in Denmark has a transformative impact on a national scale. Climate action by local governments takes into account:

  • 68% of national energy target The new onshore wind turbine will generate 23,000 GWh of electricity. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 3.2 million Danes, more than half of Denmark’s population.1
  • More than 50,000 hectares of new forest will be created by 2030. This will help achieve up to 80% of Denmark’s national afforestation and afforestation goals.
  • 60,000 hectares of wetland It helps store carbon and protect biodiversity, such as by rewetting farmland. Denmark’s national goal is to create 100,000 hectares of wetlands by 2030.

Cities in the C40 network consistently demonstrate that local climate action is progressing at an impactful pace. Although the current NDC puts global warming on track to exceed 2°C, nearly all C40 cities have already developed transition plans that align with the Paris Agreement’s emissions, adaptation, and equity goals. It is being formulated.

It is clear that national and local climate action can deliver great results if we work together to achieve ambitious goals.

Aerial view of Copenhagen skyline and Amagertorf City Square with fountain, Denmark - stock photo
©Alexander Spatari/Getty Images
How did DK2020 mobilize all of Denmark?

This coordinated climate action plan by Danish municipalities is no coincidence. The DK2020 project has been driven by the political will and climate leadership of Denmark’s mayors and partners. This helped raise awareness about the inspiring climate action already being taken across Denmark and the opportunities and challenges facing municipalities.

The DK2020 project encouraged municipalities to strengthen collaboration between municipal sectors and mainstream mitigation and adaptation actions in an inclusive and equitable approach. It has also provided a collective voice and sharing platform for local authorities to collaborate, seek support and share ideas and experiences.

All climate action plans are developed in close collaboration with local communities, involving residents, businesses and other local stakeholders. This helped reinforce the message that we all have a role to play in solving the climate crisis.

What’s next?

All DK2020 partners have extended their commitments through 2027 with: The Climate Alliance is a new partnership that helps Danish municipalities move from climate planning to climate action. From 2024, Denmark’s first local authorities will start updating their climate action plans in line with C40’s new draft Urban Climate Transition Framework. The new framework improves on C40’s existing climate action planning framework and incorporates recommendations from the United Nations Integrity Issues Report.

Cities around the world have demonstrated leadership and ambition on climate change by setting net-zero targets. But turning their commitments into action and accountability requires further financial and policy-driven support at national and global levels. As COP28 negotiations begin in Dubai, local leaders stand ready to work with governments to set and implement climate change targets, mobilize resources, build capacity for action and accelerate progress across key areas. . Denmark is an excellent example of what that looks like in practice.

During the COP’s first Regional Climate Action Summit, governments and negotiators should look to DK2020 and the actions of Danish leaders for inspiration. Mayors’ valuable expertise in local planning and implementation can and should be incorporated into the design of national and international climate policy.

In just three years, nearly every Danish municipality has developed a Paris Agreement-compliant climate action plan to achieve ambitious emissions reductions by 2030. Replicating this in all countries will help the world get on track to solving the climate crisis and creating a safe environment. , a healthy planet where everyone can grow.

1. According to Our World in Data, the average annual CO2 emissions for Danes in 2021 was 5.1 tCO2e. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Equivalent Calculator shows that generating 23,000 GwH of renewable energy would reduce annual emissions by 16,299,697 tCO2e. Emissions of 3.2 million Danes.

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