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Ministry of Climate: Denmark is close to reaching the 2030 goal

The new projection expects a 68 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030, with the climate target being 70 percent

Denmark may be very close to fulfilling its climate target for 2030 of a 70 percent reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases.

The new projection from the Climate Ministry estimates that emissions by 2030 will have been reduced by 68 percent compared to the base year 1990.

Last year's assessment indicated that existing political measures would lead to a 63.1 percent reduction in emissions by 2030.

- It shows that we are very likely to meet the 2025 target and that we are closer to achieving the 2030 goal than we thought last year, says Climate Minister Lars Aagaard (M).

The new projection from the Ministry also shows that the 2025 goal of a 50-54 percent reduction will be achieved with a 55.5 percent reduction.

The significant leap is particularly due to the fact that several models for measuring the climate impact have been updated.

The climate profile from the agricultural low-lying soils and forests has changed since last year.

It is now believed that low-lying soils emit less greenhouse gas and that forests absorb more than was assumed last year.

These two elements together account for reductions of 3.4 million tons of CO2.

Meanwhile, the sale of electric vehicles has surpassed expectations, which has increased the reductions in the forecast. This results in a CO2 reduction of 0.8 million tons.

Similarly, Sweden has reduced the diesel tax, and with the Danish Parliament's new diesel tax, it is expected that more people will therefore refuel in Sweden rather than Denmark, benefiting the Danish climate accounting.

Climate Minister Lars Aagaard maintains that the improvements are mainly due to political measures.

- It is driven by an undercurrent of political decisions such as the CO2 taxation of the industry, revised car taxation, and expectations of very large subsidies for CO2 storage, he says.

The minister, however, acknowledges that new calculation models are part of the explanation.

- It's clear that we have also become wiser this year about how nature behaves.

Both the current and previous government have been continuously criticized for basing their climate action on technical solutions that may prove to be uncertain.

Here, the new and untested technology behind CO2 capture and storage has particularly caused concern.

The criticism was reinvigorated when it came to light that one of the government's initiatives to achieve reductions through that technology ended up delivering a smaller climate benefit than anticipated.

It is also factored into the projection as an element that shifts the picture.

There is also uncertainty associated with the new calculation models, such as those estimating the CO2 uptake of forests.

For example, a storm can topple trees, thereby destroying millions of tons of CO2 storage.

Lars Aagaard stresses that the new climate projection is based on assumptions that might change.

- It is important to emphasize that this is a projection that assumes that a lot of things will happen as the experts have now made the projection, he says.

Therefore, it is necessary to constantly monitor developments, such as CO2 capture and storage, to ensure that the expected reductions are achieved.

- Based on this, we cannot say that we should sit back and relax.

- The new gap for the 2030 target is 1.5 million tons of CO2. Last year it was 5.4 million tons.

- It is especially agriculture that needs to plan new reductions in its emissions. An effort that is expected to be implemented through a greenhouse gas tax, which is currently being negotiated in the so-called green tripartite.

Agriculture is expected to account for about half of future emissions.

- The new expectations do not change the fact that we need to accelerate the transformation of agriculture, says Lars Aagaard.

/ritzau/

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