Copenhagen’s plan for net-zero

Copenhagen aims to be the first carbon neutral capital by 2025. This article explains how they plan to do it and hints at several obstacle along the way.

Plans to be the first carbon neutral capital by 2025

The statue of HC Andersen at the City Hall Square Copenhagen

Copenhagen aims to be the first carbon neutral capital by 2025. Their report CPH 2020 Roadmap 2021-2025 lays out the challenges: fossil-based emissions come from two main sources: energy production and transport. The city aims to introduce some forty-seven different initiatives to completely remove fossil emissions from energy production and reduce transport emissions by just over 11% on 2018 levels.

FAST FACTS

AREA: Copenhagen city
POPULATION: 620 000
EMISSIONS 2018: 1 500 000 tonnes CO2 per year
BASELINE PROJECTION: 630,000 tonnes CO2 per year
EMISSIONS 2050 with roadmap: 430,000 tonnes CO2 per year
ROADMAP REDUCTION: 200,000 tonnes CO2 per year
NUMBER OF ROADMAP MEASURES: 47

Energy generation

The bulk of reductions, 855,000 tons of CO2, will come from investments in renewable energy production. By 2025, Copenhagen’s production of electricity and heating will be mainly based on wind, biomass, geothermal energy, and waste. The district heating will be carbon neutral and the city will produce green electricity exceeding its consumption, in order to offset remaining CO2 emissions. The excess of green electricity will be exported to other parts of Denmark.

Energy consumption

Another way to reducing fossil fules in energy consumption is to reduce need for consumption. The Copenhagen plan contains measure to stimulate building insulation and smart energy regulation.

Transport

More than half of Copenhageners use bicycles as their main means of transport. The Climate Plan calls for 75% of all trips in Copenhagen to be on foot, by bike, or via public transport. The city also aims to make public transport carbon neutral and increase its use by 20%.

We will be discussing these plans from several perspectives in future blogs. For now, the plan has stirred controversy, see for example this article from The Conversation which says that reliance on unproven technology and external funding can both upset the best laid plans.

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