Science and Health Round-up: Danes willing to pay for greener buildings – The Post

Science and Health Round-up: Danes willing to pay for greener buildings

In other stories, cutting soot emissions – as well as having greener tourist boats – could pay climate dividends

Green is good – at least according to a lot of Danes (photo: pxhere)
April 24th, 2019 3:32 pm| by Stephen Gadd

The green agenda and sustainability in general has really caught on in Denmark – so much so that Danes are willing to pay for further sustainable initiatives out of their own pockets, a survey from Rambøll Consultants and UserNeeds reveals.

In favour of major sacrifices
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 1,400 kroner per month.

Regarding transport, 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.

More state involvement, please
However, those polled said much more should be done in the public sector – especially in the fields of energy, building and transport, with 88 percent saying that 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 private companies.

Soot reduction could buy time for Arctic ice
Professor Henrik Skov from the Institute of Environmental Science at Aarhus University has suggested a ‘quick fix’ that could buy ten years in the fight against global warming, reports DR Nyheder. Instead of concentrating all our energies on cutting CO2 emissions to reduce Arctic ice melting we should look to cutting down soot, methane and ozone, Skov says. Soot particles enter the atmosphere and are transported to Arctic areas where, as they are black, they absorb sunlight. When they lie on the surface of snow, it melts quicker. Soot, methane and ozone all have short lifetimes in the atmosphere, so they can more easily be eradicated than CO2 molecules that can live for around 100 years. However, Skov emphasises that reducing CO2 is the most important component in fighting climate change.

‘Greener’ sightseeing boats wanted
One of the most popular summer tourist activities in Copenhagen is to take a sightseeing boat around the canals and harbours. However, 25 out of 27 boats have diesel engines and, according to the Det Økologiske Råd ecological council, emit the same amount of polluting nitrogen oxide as a petrol-engined car going round the world 5,000 times, reports DR Nyheder. Copenhagen’s technical and environmental committee would like to see them all converted to more sustainable power. “It’s inappropriate that we as a municipality make enormous efforts to combat pollution both from buses and our own harbour buses, but the private sector doesn’t keep up,” said Socialdemokratiet’s spokesperson for technological and environmental matters, Niels E Bjerrum.

Six newborns infected with multi-resistant bacteria
Sjællands Universitetshospital in Roskilde has had to contact parents who have been involved with its neonatal department from March 3 this year to test them for multi-resistant MRSA bacteria. So far, six babies have been found to be infected whilst the other five are healthy but carriers of the infection, reports DR Nyheder. Five parents have also been infected. MRSA is a strain of the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that causes infections in different parts of the body, and the infection cannot be treated with ordinary antibiotics. In January 2017 the neonatal department at Næstved Hospital had to be closed for a week when eleven children and eight adults tested positive for the bacteria.