As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meets in Copenhagen to approve its latest climate science report, host country Denmark has taken another step in its ambitious plan to phase out coal.
Danish Climate and Energy Minister, Rasmus Helveg Petersen said they country would examine the possibility of ending the use of coal in the country by 2025.
That’s five years ahead of the country’s current target year of 2030.
Petersen, said, “it would benefit the climate and it would be a very, very good signal to send”.
John Nordbo, Head of Climate and Energy, WWF Denmark welcomed the remarks:
Denmark clearly has the potential to phase out coal before the deadline of 2030, the government has so far set. Denmark could be the first country that goes from high dependence on coal to no coal, and thus demonstrate for the rest of the world how this important transition is possible. But it is super important that coal is replaced by solar, wind and sustainable bioenergy – and that the strong energy efforts are continued.
Denmark has already set itself the target of meeting 100% of its energy needs with renewables by 2050, with 30% of supply already coming from wind power.
This is in comparison to 20% that is currently supplied by coal.
Denmark wants wind energy to make up 50% of its overall power supply by 2020. The country also have a target to reduce it domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020 – on 1990 levels, and a complete phase out of fossil fuels to follow.
This summer the government’s energy agency declared that onshore wind is now the cheapest form of new electricity generation in Denmark, significantly undercutting coal power.
This week, the country plays host of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as it approves the synthesis report of it latest blockbuster report on climate science.
The report is expected to show that renewable energies are bigger and cheaper than ever, and that they are ready to replace fossil fuels.
And this is good news, as central to the new report is the increased urgency of the climate challenge.
Global greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, negative climate impacts are already being felt across all of the world’s continents, and if we are to stand a reasonable chance of avoiding “very dangerous” and “irreversible” climate change, we need to act now.
The IPCC is clear: A “fundamental transformation of our energy system is needed”.