2019 General Election key battleground issues: Climate – The Post

2019 General Election key battleground issues: Climate

Is there any hope for Venstre in the final week before the vote?

A key element of the election (photo: Pixabay)
May 31st, 2019 12:00 pm| by Cornelia Mikaelsson

Wednesday June 5 sees the long-awaited general election taking place in Denmark.

Lagging behind in the polls, PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s number would appear to be up.

However, Venstre’s performance in Sunday’s European elections suggests his party is fighting back.

But with the other blue bloc parties losing support, is it too little to late, given the strength of the red bloc.

Last issue, CPH POST assessed three key battleground issues: health reform, the welfare state and taxes.

Now to complete the picture, we are taking on immigration, climate and education.

Battle severity: Battle of Winterfell
Agent provocateur: Uffe Elbæk would like to be
Key incendiary device: Venstre’s slowness
Potential civil war: Socialdemokratiet vs Alternativet
Potential casualties: Green-inclined blue bloc voters

With the global environment at crisis point, climate is one of the major issues in the election.

During a recent televised debate, eleven leaders raised their hands when asked who had the most ambitious policies, only Nye Borgerlige and Dansk Folkeparti kept their hands down. And it is not surprising the majority of the leaders want to be at the forefront of the debate – a recent Norstat poll reveals that climate change is one of the most important themes for voters.

Blue Bloc
Venstre wants to stop the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 – and by 2035 to only have zero-emission cars. It also wants a new climate law to develop technology and agriculture.

Technology is also a key focus of Liberal Alliance, which argues that new solutions are necessary if Denmark is to meet its goal of being CO2-neutral by 2050. It wants to set 0.2 percent of GDP aside for a climate research fund – the equivalent of 3.7 billion kroner every year.

Dansk Folkeparti has been criticised for being the only party without a comprehensive plan. It supports initiatives employing common sense − policies need to be based upon “knowledge and not current trends”. The party wants more focus on energy technology in order to make the transition as cheap as possible. It also encourages people to buy locally-produced products and wants a reorganisation of the registration tax so that environmentally-friendly cars are favoured.

Nye Borgerlige believes that people will start to buy electric cars once it’s cheaper, and that the market will solve the climate crisis with little interference from the government.

Red Bloc
Socialdemokratiet wants binding frameworks that require future governments to report on the status of climate and make necessary adjustments every fifth year. The goal is to make Denmark free from fossil fuels by 2045 – instead of 2050, which is the current goal. It wants to invest 20 billion kroner into a new, green future fund to help solve challenges posed by the climate crisis on a global level.

Key support party SF mostly shares the same outlook as S, but wants to adopt a different approach regarding mandatory targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions annually.

Enhedslisten wants biennial checks of Denmark´s greenhouse gas levels, contending the government needs solutions if targets are not being met.

Alternativet leader Uffe Elbæk wants the issue to “overshadow” everything in the election. It thinks that S’s targets are not ambitious enough. It wants to see a 100 percent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2040 – a decade before S’s target. Alternativet does not believe the problems can be solved with technology alone, as these problems are closely related to industrial production and increasing consumption.