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Editorial comment

In less than a year, Denmark will host COP15, the UN Climate Change Conference, during which the follow up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol is to be negotiated. The preparations have already begun in Denmark, and a variety of different initiatives have been launched.


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In less than a year, Denmark will host COP15, the UN Climate Change Conference, during which the follow up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol is to be negotiated. The preparations have already begun in Denmark, and a variety of different initiatives have been launched.

One of these initiatives is Climate Consortium Denmark, a public-private partnership, the main task of which is to showcase a number of different initiatives aimed at drawing the world´s attention to Danish climate solutions before and during COP15.

One of the things the Danish Climate Consortium wants to emphasise is that it is possible to maintain steady economic growth, while reducing the dependency on fossil fuels and safeguarding the environment. Over the last 25 years, the Danish economy has grown by around 75%, with nearly stable energy consumption. At the same time, the composition of the energy consumption has changed significantly as a result of a political effort to promote the use of renewable energy. Today renewable energy comprises over 15% of overall energy consumption. This has increased energy supply security and contributed significantly to the attainment of Denmark’s climate targets. From 1990 to 2006, economic activity in Denmark increased by more than 40%, while CO2 emissions decreased by nearly 14%.

The world’s consumption of energy is increasing rapidly as populations around the world increase their living standards. Everywhere, major investments in the energy sector to meet this demand are necessary. The IEA predicts that we will see almost a doubling of the energy production from 2004 to 2030, and that energy production based on coal will more than double.

DONG Energy, one of the leading energy groups in northern Europe, is one of three sponsors behind Climate Consortium Denmark. The company’s business is based on procuring, producing, distributing, trading and selling energy and related products in northern Europe. Anders Eldrup, CEO of DONG Energy, comments that: “For many years to come, the global demand for energy will continue to rely on coal and other fossil fuels. Therefore, it is essential that we use these resources as efficiently and responsibly as possible, and reduce the CO2 emissions. Our long-term goal is to produce energy without CO2 emissions”.

In Denmark, coal remains an important energy source in the generation of power and heat. In the long-term, the expectation is that renewable energy forms the basis of energy production, and thermal power plants can be used as flexible capacity when the wind is not strong enough or water levels are low. DONG Energy has contributed to the development of the world’s most efficient power-plant technologies. In fact, when the coal-fired units are operating at their most efficient, they are able to utilise around 45% of the fuel’s energy content. On a global scale, the average energy utilisation is only around 31%. All in all, if all the coal-fired power plants in the world used state-of-the-art technology, such as that used by DONG Energy, global CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants would be reduced by around 30%.