Denmark is not only home to the UNEP DTU offices, the Scandinavian country is also known for its green policies and technical expertise when it comes to climate solutions.
But as successful as the country might be it cannot escape the global need to enhance climate ambitions.
That was the message the Danish Energy, Utilities and Climate Committee of the Danish parliament got, when it invited UNEP DTU and other experts to a hearing on Denmark’s climate efforts and the goals in the Paris Agreement.
More needs to be done
Anne Olhoff, Head of the Climate Resilient Development programme at UNEP DTU, explained to the gathered politicians and audience, that the world still has a long way to go, if we are to reach the global climate goals.
Presenting different scenarios for rising temperatures and climate efforts, the message was clear:
“More needs to be done – including in Denmark. But it is not all bad news. Even with current technologies, there is a huge potential for climate action. A potential that politicians need to help fulfil,” she says.
Exploring the level of ambition
The purpose of the hearing was to explore the needed level of ambition in the policies and actions on climate change.
Experts from the Niels Bohr Institute and Copenhagen University presented their views on climate change, Denmark’s position and the need for higher ambitions, while Danfoss, from the private sector, called for more ambitious policies to drive energy efficiency improvements and investments.
Based on the annual Emission Gap Reports Anne Olhoff explained the current position in the struggle to limit the rise in temperatures, what the global goals entail and how we can achieve them.
“The short version is that even if all the countries in the world live up to their current plans and ambitions, we will still be far from realising the goals in the Paris Agreement, and more importantly, the global rise in temperatures would be well above the critical 2 degrees Celsius at the end of this century.”
Bridging the gap and beyond
The good news is, that even though the global CO2 emissions are still rising and significantly more action is needed, we don’t have to look far for the solutions according to Anne Olhoff.
“By using proven existing technologies, we can not only bridge the gap between what we do and what is needed in 2030, the emission reduction potentials are approximately twice the size of the gap,” she explains.
Using technologies with solar and wind power, energy efficiency, transport and reducing deforestation while replanting forests, emissions can be reduced sufficiently.
But it requires politicians around the world to set higher ambitions and follow through on promises and policies.