Historical agreement for a greener future signed in New York

Date: 28 April 2016

The Paris Agreement from COP21 is the first legally binding global climate agreement. Last Friday, Denmark together with representatives from 130 nations signed the agreement in New York.

With the agreement, all the signing countries commit to develop national plans to reduce their CO2 emissions. In total 188 countries have already presented their national climate plans covering over 96% of the world’s emissions. For comparison the Kyoto Protocol covers under 15% of the global emissions.

-I am proud to sign the Paris Agreement on behalf of Denmark. This is a historical moment and a turning point for the global transition towards low emissions. It signals a shift away from action driven by few nations, to action performed by all. Now it is important to secure an ambitious global implementation of the agreement, where all countries deliver, what they have promised. This also applies to the EU. We need to convert EU’s 2030 climate goals to action and results. This means first and foremost, that we need to get the concrete legislation for the EU’s reduction efforts in place. The agreement should be implemented as soon as possible. I will therefore work to get Denmark and EU to ratify the agreement, says the Danish Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate, Lars Chr. Lilleholt.

But the current contributions in the climate agreement does not reach the agreement’s long term goal to keep the global temperature rise under 1,5 or even 2 degrees. Therefore it was essential to create a consensus on an ambition mechanism in the agreement, which commits the countries to revisit their ambitions every 5 years. This is to increase the efforts of reduction continuously after Paris.

“We know that the many contributions to the global agreement are not enough to keep the global temperature rise under 2 degrees. Therefore I am happy that the EU and Denmark succeeded in getting the ambition mechanism to be a part of the Paris agreement to increase the global reduction efforts after Paris. In 2020 at the latest, EU needs to, like all other countries with 10-year goals, update or reconfirm their 2030 goal”, says Lars Chr. Lilleholt.

In addition, developed countries reconfirmed their promise to mobilise USD 100 billion a year from 2020 to finance the developing countries’ climate efforts.

“Denmark and the EU play an important role in helping the developing countries to reach their climate goals in reality. This includes the climate financing and capacity building. Denmark already cooperates with a number of growth economies, including China, Mexico, South Africa, Vietnam and Indonesia, regarding their transition towards lower emissions through our bilateral energy collaborations”, Lars Chr. Lilleholt explains.

Danish experiences are going to show that transition towards low emissions can be delivered in a cost-efficient way. This includes the importance of making the clean energy technologies cheaper and more competitive compared to fossil fuels. Therefore, the government has secured Denmark a seat in President Obama’s international commitment on research in sustainable energy ‘Mission Innovation’, where Denmark and 19 other countries commit to doubling the funds for research in sustainable energy over a 5-year period, whilst private investors like Bill Gates also contributes med research funds.

FACTS

  • The Paris Agreement will be realised when at least 55 parties, covering a minimum of 55% of the global emmisions, have ratified it.
  • The Paris Agreement sends an important signal to private investors, that low emissions are the future. The agreement thus includes great business opportunities for Denmark, being Europe’s leading country within the export of energy technology.
  • According to the Confediration of Danish Industry, the export of Danish energy technology to the EU, USA, China and Mexico can be doubled to app. DKK 120 billion towards 2030 as the climate agreement is implemented.

Source: Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities & Climate