Climate minister: Important signal from European Council

European ministers yesterday reaffirmed their commitment to improving energy efficiency, while the UN selects Copenhagen to house new climate technology centre

The climate minister, Martin Lidegaard (Radikale), commended the renewed commitment to ambitious climate targets displayed by European heads of state in Brussels yesterday.

The Council of Ministers meeting discussed Europe’s energy problems and agreed that investing in Europe’s energy network and improving energy efficiency would tackle high energy prices and improve competition.

“The Danish government is working to introduce targets for energy efficiency,” Lidegaard wrote in a press release. “It’s the cheapest way to reduce our burden on the environment and it also improves our competitive ability.”

Lidegaard also said it was an important signal that the ministers welcomed the European Commission’s ‘Green Paper’, which will guide the EU’s energy policies through 2030.

“Several member states have been pressing the EU to reconsider its ambitious climate and energy goals, so it’s positive that the European Council has chosen to support the transition to renewable energy as it will act as a motor for growth, employment and improved competition.”

Denmark is a forerunner in the transition to renewable energy and has set ambitious targets to produce 30 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2030 and become free of fossil fuels by 2050.

In recognition of Denmark’s ambitions, the United Nation’s Environment Program (UNEP) this week announced that Copenhagen would house UNEP's new Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN).

The CTCN will help developing countries embrace low-carbon technology as well as technology that can help them cope with the effects of climate change.

According to Achim Steiner, the executive director of UNEP, Denmark’s efforts to promote renewable energy contributed to the decision to place the centre in Copenhagen.

“Denmark is a trend setter for new standards for resource-efficient buildings and is among the leading countries in the world for clean energy,” Achim stated in a press release.

The development minister, Christian Friis Bach (Radikale), stated that having the centre in Copenhagen would only reinforce Denmark’s position as a leader in climate adaptation technology.

“With Denmark at the centre of this important climate centre, we will be able to make a solid contribution in the fight against climate change and help climate adaptation in developing countries,” Friis Bach stated. “It will give Denmark a unique international position in green growth and will benefit Danish knowledge and businesses.”

The centre, which will open later this year, will find a home in the new UN district in Nordhavn that will be officially opened on July 5 and which will create around 500 new jobs.

Berlingske newspaper reports that the Danish government has also chosen to support CTCN with 30 million kroner.

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