“We are facing the worst economic crisis since World War II. We are heading toward a 6 degree increase in temperature. Commodity prices are heading through the roof. We need to do something,” Lidegaard told Reuters at a meeting of Europe’s respective environment ministers.
“We think the answer is energy efficiency and also to ensure investment in green growth. Every euro spent on energy efficiency will go to ensuring European jobs. Every euro spent on oil imports will go out of Europe,” he added.
Establishing a high carbon price is one of the means that investment in the green economy can be encouraged. However, despite Lidegaard commenting that a price of €7 was “not sustainable” in the current climate, it was far too early to suggest whether an intervention was likely to help support the market.
With Denmark aiming to be a fossil fuel-free country by 2050 and being a world leader in wind energy, currently providing the country with a fifth of its power, the nation stands heads and shoulders above the current holder of the EU presidency Poland when it comes to promoting green investment. Poland, heavily reliant on carbon-intensive coal for the majority of its power, endured fierce criticism by other members of the European bloc at the start of its six month tenure, after it blocked attempts to increase EU targets for cutting carbon emissions to 25 percent from the existing target of 20 percent by 2020. Denmark has set a target of reducing its own carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2020. A figure that not only doubles that of the overall EU target, but a benchmark it hopes others will follow.