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Climate and Energy the Danish Way

Climate changes and energy consumption is a global challenge and responsibility, we face right here and now. The Danish experience shows that it is indeed possible to pursue economic growth while reducing the consumption of energy and protecting the environmentxt in field

Each year, Denmark’s 5.4 million citizens generate 14 million tons of waste. The Danish approach to waste management is to optimize resource exploitation via waste hierarchy which prioritizes recycling over landfill.

The model has proved highly efficient, with the result that only 7% of all waste generated in Denmark is disposed of at landfills. Source separation is a key feature of Danish waste management. Collection systems for paper, cardboard and glass enjoy widespread acceptance and are used extensively by both citizens and enterprises. Reuse and recycling in various forms account for 67% of all waste, through practices such as rinsing and refilling bottles, remelting cans and glass to make new products, or recycling of residues from waste incineration through use in road construction etc. Energy is recovered by incineration of the remaining waste in incineration plants to generate electricity and district heating. In fact, the generated heat from waste incineration covers approx. 20% of district heating in Denmark. Emissions from waste incineration are overall CO2 neutral, except for incineration of plastics based on fossil fuels, and in alignment with the Danish government’s plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2020.

In Denmark, prevention of energy waste in households has long been a focus area, and successive governments have introduced a range of energy saving policy initiatives together with building regulations designed to help householders reduce energy consumption (and thus energy bills) and minimise the environmental impact. A tightened building code, including stipulations on insulation and tighter-sealing doors and windows lowered Denmark’s heating bill by 20% between 1975 and 2001, even though 30% more heated floor space was built in that period. Energy labelling and eco-friendly technologies are two more areas of energy efficiency which with usage of renewable energy sources has been and will remain focused area for many years.

The Danish Experience

Denmark is a forerunner when it comes to production of clean technologies and renewable energy. Over the past 25 years, Denmark has shown that it is possible to create economic growth while at the same time reducing energy consumption and increasing the use of renewable energy. Read more about different initiatives below.

The Climate Consortium: A public/private partnership which
gathers information on knowledge and project initiatives from companies and knowledge-based institutions and disseminate this information nationally and internationally. Moreover it is one of the Climate Consortium’s main tasks to coordinate all Danish climate related projects.

EnergyTours: Visiting facility that allows foreign visitors with special interest in climate and energy related technologies and solutions. EnergyTours’s professionals arrange excursions for politicians, investors, researchers, organisations and the press that wish to achieve a firsthand impression of the Danish solutions on combating climate change.

EnergyMap: Presents energy and climate technologies from idea to realised project. EnergyMap facilitates contact between Danish and international project stakeholders and other interested parties in order to start cooperation and maximize mutual opportunities and benefits. The portal is levelled at businesses, investors, researchers and the media.

Danish Energy R&D Projects: Contains descriptions of current and completed energy research, development and demonstration projects in Denmark. The projects are completely or partly financed by the Danish Energy Authority's Programme for Energy (EUDP). 

Denmark's approach to climate change

Denmark has launched an energy strategy that makes it the first country in the world to commit to an overall reduction in energy consumption.


- The Danish Example: The Way to an Energy Efficient and Friendly Economy