News in Digest: Willing to pay for a sustainable future – The Post

News in Digest: Willing to pay for a sustainable future

Most Danes would dig into their own pockets to live in greener buildings and use CO2-neutral public transport

Are towering pagodas around the corner? (photo: pxhere)
May 11th, 2019 6:00 pm| by Stephen Gadd

Danes are willing to pay for sustainable initiatives out of their own pockets, a survey from Rambøll Consultants and UserNeeds reveals.

Three out of four people said they would accept a rent increase of around 100 kroner per month to reduce energy use in their homes, and 20 percent would go as far as paying an extra 1,400 kroner per month.

Transport shake-up
Some 52 percent would pay 5 percent more for CO2-neutral public transport, and more than 25 percent would be willing to accept a 25 percent increase in ticket prices. In addition, 62 percent would like to see diesel vehicles forbidden in city centres in three to years.

Most people would also be prepared to sacrifice a car lane to give more space to cyclists and buses. There are even 36 percent who support road pricing.

State must step up
Most respondents agreed that more should be done in the public sector – especially in the fields of energy, building and transport, with 88 percent saying it was the state’s responsibility to ensure sustainable development in their cities.

On the other hand, 41 percent feel this is primarily their own responsibility, with 71 percent putting the onus on the private sector.

Council’s CO2 warning
A new report from the Klimarådet climate council concurs that Danes need to make major lifestyle changes.

Among other things, Danes need to fly less and consume less meat and animal products – one of the worst sinners when it comes to CO2 emissions.

The council would like to see the government use surcharges on CO2 emissions as a tool, but cautions that it would not be desirable that such surcharges merely moved the emission problem elsewhere.

Target the soot!
However, Professor Henrik Skov from Aarhus University claims that tackling soot particles would be a much more effective way of slowing down climate change in the Arctic than targeting CO2.

Because the particles are black, they absorb sunlight when they end up in the Arctic, thus melting the ice at a quicker rate, he contends. Methane and ozone, likewise, are much easier to eradicate than CO2.

Scourge of sightseeing
In other climate news, the Det Økologiske Råd ecological council has pointed out that 25 out of the capital’s 27 sightseeing boats have diesel engines, which are highly pollutive.

Their combined annual nitrogen oxide emissions are the equivalent of a petrol-engined car going round the world 5,000 times.

Some councillors have questioned why the municipality has made a big effort to cut the pollution of its buses and harbour buses, but not requested the private sector to do the same.