Morning Briefing – Wednesday, August 14

The Copenhagen Post’s daily digest of what the Danish press is reporting

Taxpayers to foot climate bill
Ordinary taxpayers will shoulder the largest burden of the climate plan be released today by the Climate Ministry. The plan is expected to call for a 40 percent reduction of 1990 levels of greenhouse gases by 2020. “We won’t be raising the taxes on businesses, and we won’t do anything that eliminates Danish jobs,” the climate minister, Martin Lidegaard (Radikale), said. The proposed emissions reductions are expected to cost one billion kroner annually. “We are going to pursue first and foremost initiatives that benefit the climate, the environment and businesses,” Lidegaard said. The Copenhagen Post will have more on the climate plan later today. – Politiken

Firms fear climate cleanup costs
The nation’s businesses are warning the climate minister, Martin Lidegaard (Radikale), against letting climate initiatives undermine the economy. Lidegaard will unveil a 78-point plan today that instructs businesses on how they can limit their greenhouse gas emissions. Among the proposals are increased petrol and diesel taxes, and higher electricity rates for some types of businesses. Lidegaard has warned that not all the measures would benefit the economy. Representatives from business lobby Dansk Erhverv expressed concern that the measures would stifle the nascent recovery. – Erhverv & Økonomi

Mayor: stop the stoppages
Copenhagen mayor Frank Jensen (Socialdemokraterne) has added his voice to the chorus of those calling for a change to the procedure for complaining over Metro construction noise. After-hours construction has been halted at four sites while the complaints of a handful of individual residents are being reviewed. The process could take up to six months, and Metro authorities say the delay will cost 500 million kroner. Jensen urged appeals board Natur- og Miljøankenævnet to expedite its review. The mayor empathised with the affected residents, but said the slowdown would result in construction noise lasting for a longer period. Metroselskabet, the company responsible for the Metro, has set aside 100 million kroner to compensate those affected by construction noise. – DR Nyheder

Thrifty councils smothering growth
Eighty-nine of the country’s 98 local councils expect to spend less money than they budgeted for this year, according to local government interest group KL. The amount of unspent funds will likely reach 5.3 billion kroner and result in the elimination of 10,000 municipal jobs. Economists said spending that money would go a long way towards stimulating local economies. Councils say they are keeping their spending down in order to avoid being smacked with Draconian economic sanctions by the government in Copenhagen should they exceed their budget. – Børsen

Kids turning to parents for education advice
As more children pursue an education after primary school, one out of four upper-secondary school students said they were unprepared to make a decision about what type of school to attend. With the lack of help from guidance counsellors, many young people wind up relying on their parents’ advice. The parents, however, often tell their children to attend gymnasium instead of a vocational school, based on the belief that an academically-oriented education will serve them best. Counsellors’ limited advice tends to reinforce that belief. “Those with high marks are told to go to gymnasium. Those who have problems in school are told to go to vocational school,” said Agnete Vienbeg, the president of Danske Skoleelever, the national student council. – Jyllands-Posten

Careers blamed for low birth rate
A 17 percent decline in Danish fertility rates is being blamed on the continued trend of women waiting until after they have started their careers to have children. Since 2000, the birth rate has fallen 17 percent and now stands at 10.4 births per 1,000 Danes, according to Eurostat. The figure is the fourth lowest in the EU. During the same period, women came to make up the majority of university students. The decline comes despite polls indicating that Danes would like to prioritise family over work. – A4