Copenhagen - On Road to a Zero Carbon City




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Introduction

In 2012, the Copenhagen City administration released the 2012 CPH2025 Climate Plan, thereby becoming the first capital city in the world to commit itself to achieving carbon dioxide (CO2) neutrality by 2025. The plan envisaged collaborative efforts by various stakeholders including city authorities, the private sector, utilities, universities, and citizens. The climate plan was an important element of the green growth strategy of the city. The strategy also aimed at making the city an important player in the growing global market for green technology. The deployment of the technology and implementation of measures were expected to generate jobs and income to the city as well.

The climate plan envisaged implementation of initiatives in four important areas viz., energy consumption, energy production, mobility, and city administration. Earlier, in 2009, the Copenhagen City Council had set itself the target of reducing carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2015 compared to the levels in 2005 and also announced its vision of achieving carbon neutrality (Refer to Table I) by 2025. The target was achieved in 2011 itself, well ahead of schedule.

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An interesting aspect of the initiative was the involvement of the city's residents. Half of the investment in the wind generators planned as part of the initiative came from individual Copenhagen shareholders. Commenting on the ambitious initiative, Lord Mayor Frank Jensen (Jensen) said, 'Copenhageners like the ambition, they like being part of the idea of going green for the whole city. Our focus as a city, as citizens, is all about livability.'

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