Geopolitical Informations

5.614 million (2013)
Total area
42,916 km²

Latest News

Danish Minister wants to accelerate coal phase out

One day ahead the IPCC concluded its meeting in Copenhagen, the Danish Climate, Energy and Building Minister, Rasmus Petersen, announced he will work to accelerate coal phasing out and make his nation a leader in fighting climate changes, Reuters reported. In 2012, Danish government established that coal must be phased out by 2030, when electricity read more…

China launches first phase of national ETS

Chinese government on Tuesday (Dec.19) released details about the start of the long-awaited national carbon trading scheme, Reuters reports. Once operational, China’s ETS will read more...

Macron’s climate finance rally to accelerate global response to climate change

On the two-year anniversary of the Paris climate Agreement, the French presidency organized an international summit to increase climate financing to accelerate efforts to read more...

Climate Policy Facts


Year Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF ( MtCO2e) Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF Per Capita ( tCO2e Per Capita) Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF Per GDP ( tCO2e / Million $ GDP)
1990 67.1 13.05 398.91
1991 77.44 15.03 454.53
1992 71.66 13.86 412.44
1993 73.97 14.26 426.09
1994 77.83 14.95 424.87
1995 74.69 14.27 395.58
1996 87.81 16.68 452.27
1997 78.25 14.81 390.55
1998 74.06 13.96 361.81
1999 70.98 13.34 338.11
2000 66.67 12.49 306.74
2001 67.52 12.6 308.5
2002 67.35 12.53 306.29
2003 72.3 13.41 327.55
2004 66.6 12.32 294.93
2007 62.85 11.6 271.69
2006 70.59 12.98 295.13
2009 65.39 11.97 269.13
2008 61.82 11.25 256.47
2009 59.08 10.7 259.8
2010 59 10.64 255.91
2011 53.69 9.64 230.39

The line chart shows the country’s carbon emissions by year, expressed in million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) for emission totals, and in tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) for per capita and per dollar of GDP values. It is based on data from CAIT platform provided by the World Resource Insititute, and updated regularly with the most recent data available.

By selecting or deselecting each item, you can compare or give prominence to particular emission trends.


Energy Source Production (ktoe) TPES (ktoe)
Coal 3139,583
Oil 8916,738 6121,58
Natural gas 4275,285 3309,632
Hydro 1,118 1,118
Geothermal 18,149 18,149
Solar thermal 52,799 52,799
Solar photovoltaics 44,548 44,548
Tide, wave, ocean
Wind 956,578 956,578
Biomass 1518,123 2522,086
Biofuels 217,374 396,986
Waste 877,495 877,495

The double-doughnut chart shows the country’s energy production and TPES (Total Primary Energy Supply), expressed in thousand tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe). It is built on data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development/International Energy Agency libraries, and updated regularly with the most recent data available.

The INNER RING represents the country’s energy production from each energy source, corresponding to the quantities of fuels extracted or produced.

The OUTER RING shows the country’s total primary energy supply of each fuel. It represents the net quantities of fuels made available on the domestic market, after foreign transfers and trading. According to IEA’s definition, TPES equals production plus imports minus exports minus international bunkers plus or minus stock changes.

Differences between production and TPES are significant as they highlight the actual country’s behaviour in the matter of a given energy source. Production values and TPES values of the same energy source may vary widely, especially in case of the much-traded fossil fuels.

Energy data refers to year 2013.


National Policy


Denmark’s climate approach is linked to its international commitments, under the UNFCC, the Kyoto Protocol and the EU burden-sharing policy.

Denmark signed the UNFCC and adopted the Kyoto Protocol, committing itself to the established emission targets. As a EU member, Denmark should contribute to reduce 20% in domestic GHG emissions, increase 20% renewable energy capability and improve energy efficiency of 20%, by 2020 in respect to 1990 levels. Moreover, by 2050 it should make its contribution to the overall EU established target reduction of 80%-95% compared to 1990 emission levels.

By 2030 the domestic Danish reduction has been established to a 40% compared to 1990 levels.

Denmark government guarantees funding to a wide variety of organizations, programmes and initiatives for research and development on mitigation and adaptation.

The government has its main task in achieving a sustainable and green society, especially through the elimination of fossil fuel consumption.

Denmark is looking for strategies to convert the 100% of energy and transportation sector, using only renewable energy.

2014: Climate Change Act

It aims to establish a strategic framework for the National Climate Policy to achieve a low carbon society by 2050, also favoring transparency and public access. It creates an Independent Climate Council to promote a coherent approach to policies, and demanding the Minister to publish a report on climate situation and expose proposals for national climate policies at least every five years.

Fact sheet about the Climate Change Act is available online here, or downloadable in pdf.

2013: Climate Policy Plan

It was a climate plan (to start the dialogue with the Parliament, business and civil society for following climate acts) produced by the government, in which the policy principles for reducing GHG emissions  by 40% by 2020 in comparison to 1990 levels, were outlined. It described 80 different possible climate measures, including both national and EU as action levels. Among the proposed measures, there were, for example: phasing out oil destined to heating and coal by 2030, improving energy efficiency and converting all the production towards renewables,  promoting cycling, electric cars and a better public transport system, subsidies for establishing new biogas plant and subsidies for climate projects at the farm level, etc.

The 2013 Danish Climate Policy Plan is available in pdf.

2009: Green Growth Agreement

This agreement established a long-term strategy for environmental policy in agriculture industry, with the aim of blending a modern, competitive sector with environment protection. The target is reducing 800.000 tonnes per year from the agricultural sector, and using 50% of livestock manure to produce green energy. Funds are guaranteed every year to support biomass and organic biogas plants construction; investments are made available for green technologies development; and a grant scheme is provided to cover farmers’ planting costs.

See the document in pdf: Danish Green Growth Agreement.

2003: Climate Change Strategy

This strategy points toward adaptation, and was modified in 2012.

1991: Carbon Tax on Certain Products

Denmark resulted a pioneer in approving a carbon tax. The tax is applied on high carbon intensity products to discourage their consumption. It was followed by a series of taxes to establish the Green Tax Systems, the last one of 2009, still in force.



Energy production accounted for 46% of GHG emissions in 2013, and the government passed an energy agreement to increase the renewable energy (with a focus on biomass, wind and  solar)and improve energy efficiency. To save more energy, moreover, Denmark introduced regulations that guarantees energy consumption reduction in new buildings (Energy Strategy Buildings, 2014), making them more efficient, and in the renovation of older ones (Energy Renovation Strategy of Buildings, 2014). Other mechanisms adopted to reduce demand of fossil fuels have been the Energy Taxes, implemented since the 1970s to support the energy independence and reduce the fossil fuel usage. In 2010, the Danish Energy Council was created to advice the Climate and Energy Ministry and coordinate all the Energy public bodies to improve efficiency in regulation.

2012: Energy Agreement

The agreement outlines the energy policy instrument to transform the Denmark into a green sustainable society up to 2020, and the direction to follow until 2050. It has the following objectives:

-reach a share of 35% of renewable energy in final energy consumption by 2020

– 50% of electricity consumption should come from wind power in 2020 (in 2015, 40% has been achieved yet)

-reduce by 33% the use of fossil fuel, in 2020 compared to 2009

-reduce gross energy consumption of 12% compared to 2006

-achieve a 34% reduction of CO2 emissions in 2020 respect to 1990

-make Denmark independent from fossil fuel by 2050

While respecting the needs of business companies following a cost-effective transition which maintains competitiveness, it invests in technologies to reach the energy efficiency, and strongly encourages the expansion of wind power (ex. 600MW offshore wind turbines at Krieger Flak and 400MW at Horns Rev: 500MW wind turbines in coastal zones) . It promotes the passage from fuel to renewable energy in heating, transports, and industry. Moreover, it fosters biomass replacement for coal and the biogas use extension. The funding will be provided through the PSO, so the energy bills and supply tax on heating.

Report on the Energy Agreement downloadable in pdf: Accelerating Green Energy Towards 2020.

2009: Promotion of Renewable Energy Act

This law favors the shift towards a bigger use of renewable energy, especially in the electricity sector. It pledges a series of subsides to municipalities which undertake the installation of wind turbines , a scrapping scheme for old wind turbines, subsides to owners who cope with properties loss of value following wind turbines installations, and a series of feed-in premium tariffs for wind, biomass, biogas, and other renewable energy sources, and for those turbines installed by owner for consumption.

Full document available in pdf: Promotion of Renewable Energy Act .

2009: Tax Reform 2.0

It prescribes increasing taxes on pollution and energy consumption to promote a greener behavior.

2009: Energy Tax Reform

This act provides increasing taxes on products that harm the environment, health and climate.

2005: Energy Efficiency in State Institutions

This law, expanded in 2007, 2009, and 2014, aims at providing regulatory instruments to support an energy efficient behavior in all government institutions buildings. The reduction of state energy consumption target is 14% to be reached in 2020 compared to 2006.

2000: Act in the Promotion of Saving in Energy Consumption

This law concerns energy savings for all sectors, and it was reviewed in 2009, and the established savings target for the scheme is annual savings of 6.1 PJ, equivalent to approximately 1.5% of the total final energy consumption in Denmark. Therefore, it has been added a coordinated programme which will last in 2020 (Act on the Energy Saving Programme 2010-2020).

See the full document here.



Denmark has a differentiated tax levels depending on the CO2 intensity of fuels, to encourage efficiency. It provides tax incentives and funding for programmes which uptake cell vehicles. To improve the transport sector, the Danish government supported the electrification of railways, the tax exemption for electric and hydrogen cars, and promoted cycling and cheaper public transports.

The transportation legislation include:

2009: Green Transport Policy Agreement

It is directed to reduce emissions in the transport sector, and in those sectors not coved by ETS, of 20% compared to 1990 levels, by 2020. It focuses on enhancing public transports, rendering it more energy efficient, and creating new technologies to improve the sector.

Copenhagen has specific policies which aim is rendering the city CO2 neutral by 2025, especially favoring bicycle use as an efficient and non-polluting way of transport.

2009: Sustainable Transports-Better Infrastructure Strategy

It is a long term scheme for sustainable transports and infrastructures, to be implemented in 10-15 years, in combination with other taxes that stimulate Co2 emission reduction in transports.

The English summary version is available here.

2000: The Action Plan To Reduce the Transportation’s sector CO2

It aims at reducing Co2 emissions in the transportation sector. It was then included in the Climate Change Strategy

1999-2000: Energy Labelling New Cars

This act requires label showing energy consumption and CO2 emissions for every car.



Denmark adopted the Strategy for Sustainable Forest Management in 1994, and the National Forest Programme in 2002. Forests and land management is part of its effort to meet the established targets under Kyoto. Climate impacts deriving from agriculture are addressed under Eu directives, helping with subsides from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. In 2009 The Forest Act, emendated in 2013 was approved.


References and links

Danish Government

Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Danish Energy Agency

Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate

State of Green website

International Policy

General features

– Denmark signed the UNFCCC and adopted the Kyoto Protocol, committing itself to respect the established reduction targets. Being part of the Kyoto Protocol took Denmark to sustain the CDM in developing countries, especially in South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. It even supports conservation and sustainable development financing developing countries (REDD+).

– As other members of the European Commission and as Baltic states, Denmark took part to BASREC (Baltic Sea Region Energy Cooperation), for the promotion of a stable, efficient, competitive and sustainable energy market in the Baltic zone.

-It is even part of a series of forum: Observer at MEF (Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate), the Cartagena Dialogue, created to establish informal dialogue between developed and developing countries, and CCAC (Climate and Clean Air Coalition).

-Denmark is then part of a series of organizations which contemplate international cooperation to confront the climate change related problems: IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency), the Nordic Energy and Baltic Sea Cooperation, AMAP (Artic Monitoring and Assessment Programme), the Artic Council; it signed moreover the Energy Charter.

Denmark is very active in mitigating the impact of climate change bolstering up actions of emission reduction, for example, by supporting international organizations which work with environment and climate (ex. GEF, IIED, IISD, UNEP and others) and their projects. In all its projects, Denmark tries to strengthen multilateral participation, engaging the private sector and the civil society organizations.

In April 2016 Denmark signed the Paris Agreement.


Green International Strategies

2014: Green Growth Strategy

It is a strategy implemented in developing countries, especially those hardly sensitive to climate change, which aims at stimulating economic growth while respecting the environment, natural resources and creating a sustainable development. It has been adopted in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Myanmar, Mozambique, Nepal, Tanzania, Pakistan, Niger, Uganda, Ethiopia, Bhutan, Benin, Mali, and Vietnam.

In supporting this strategy, Denmark is also part of the 3GF (Global Green Growth Forum), where a cooperation between the private and public sector is required to better tackle the climate change and its consequences.

Info on the Green Growth Strategy available on the DANIDA’s website.

Info on the Green Growth Strategies on the various developing countries on the DANIDA’s website.

2012: The Right to a Better Life

It is the strategy for Denmark’s development cooperation. The central point is green growth, financing developing countries, promoting a sustainable development and a sustainable use of natural resources, while at the same time stimulating economic growth, technological development in agriculture, energy, environment, forestry and water. It presents a human rights based approach.

Inside this strategy, Denmark promotes NEC (Strategic Framework for Natural Resources, Energy, and Climate) and GE (Strategic Framework for Growth and Employment), that aim at jointly setting the priorities and define the instruments for Denmark’s development cooperation for green growth.

NEC Strategy provides the framework and demonstrates opportunities for pursuing greener pathways in intervention areas, and is to be applied by stakeholders involved in the implementation of Danish policy and support to natural resources, energy, and climate change interventions in Danish priority countries (Poverty Frame) and in some middle-income countries (Global Frame).

GE Strategy provides the framework for efforts to foster sustainable, economic growth and creation of jobs. It outlines the principles and priorities for instruments that directly engage the Danish business sector in fostering growth and employment. This includes prioritization of partnerships and investments advancement towards the use of green technology expansion and food security.

Danish Strategy The Right to A Better Life is available here in pdf.


The document Priorities for Danish Development Cooperation 2015 is available in pdf.

The document Priorities for the Danish Development Cooperation 2016 is downloadable in pdf.



Since 2010 Denmark contributed with more than DDK 7 billion to climate change related programmes, including more than DDK 2 billion financed through the Climate Envelope, created to promote fast actions. In 2015 more than half of the annual asset was distributed through the World Bank and Un agencies, while 10% was received by local civil society organizations, and about one-fifth was directed to bilateral support of ministries or governmental organizations (see the 2015 Danish evaluation on climate change funding to developing countries).

Moreover, Denmark provides funding for research studies and report to address a better understanding and solving of climate change problems in other countries.

Danish Climate Investment Fund

It is a private-public fund, established in 2009, with a capital of DDK 1.3 billion and it offers risk capital and advice for climate projects which directly or indirectly reduce GHG emissions, or transfers of technology in developing countries or emerging markets. It is managed by IFU in collaboration with Danish companies, and it has financed more than 1.200 projects, but for every single project it offers just a partial contribution. The total investments amount is estimated to DDK8-9 billion.

More details available on the Danish Climate Investment Fund’s website.

2009: Green Climate Fund

At COP15 many countries, including Denmark, decided to create this fund to have support for adaptation and mitigation. This fund should be central to mobilize climate finance, making investment in developing countries. Denmark gave money to the fund, and stimulated even the private sector to contribute. The Copenhagen Accord provided an initial Fast Start Finance to provide about $ 30 billion, while the Green Climate Fund was to become operative. To this days, Denmark has contributed to the fund with $71.8 million (March 2016, Green Climate Fund’s website).

Danish Carbon Fund

The Danish Carbon Fund was established in 2005, and managed by the World Bank, with the participation of Danish ministries and private sector companies, and a capital of €57.985 million. It is directed to finance CDM projects in developing countries. Moreover it seeks to contribute to JI and CDM emission reduction projects in Eastern European and Asian countries with transition economies. It favoured projects centred upon wind and hydro power, biomass, and landfills.

€5.125 million of the total capital has been transferred to the World Banks Community Development Carbon Fund to invest in smaller communities which are particularly vulnerable to climate change.

Dancea (Danish Cooperation for Environment in the Artic)

This is an environmental funding programme for Danish effort in the Artic region, administered by Danish EPA and DEA, and guarantees funding for monitoring, informative and research activities, which was created in 1994.

More info about Dancea on the Danish Energy Agency’s website.


Bilateral Cooperation

The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is particularly active in many countries with several projects to confront climate change. Among others, DANIDA has assigned to climate change the position of strategic priority in its activities. In addition to take part in many organizations or financing their projects, stimulating multilateral cooperation, Denmark follow the path of bilateral cooperation (with an amount of about 70% of aids destined to specific countries) with different developing countries.

The bilateral cooperation with Indonesia follows the ESP3 (Environmental Support Programme), with the timeline 2013-2018, ensuring an asset of DDK 270 million from the Danish government. This project uses as intermediators key central government agencies, to shift the country towards a green economy. The main areas of cooperation are three: Environment, Energy and Forest. It is the third implemented programme in Indonesia.

Denmark is also the first donor for Vietnam, seeking to contribute to Vietnam’s sustainability in economic and social development and in hunger alleviation, with the CCAM project (Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Programme). From 2009 to 2015, the Danish government supplied the country with DDK 200 million. The adaptation part of the programme is directed to resolve problems in specifically vulnerable areas, while the mitigation part provides improvement for the energy efficiency and favours the sustainable development. Furthermore, the DANIDA Business Finance (DBF) programme offers interest free or low interest loans for Green Growth development projects in Vietnam.

See the Danish Strategy For Development Cooperation (2006-2010) in Vietnam.

DANIDA in collaboration with Sweden, developed the NCCRS (National Climate Change Response Strategy) to address the mitigation and adaptation measures in Kenya.

The Danish Energy Agency works with several countries to promote a better awareness and use of energy, in particular China, Mexico, Vietnam, and South Africa, by assisting these emerging countries towards a transition to low-carbon economies. These are countries with high growth rates, so they have been chosen to control and abate the CO2 global emissions. The DEA cooperates with partners focusing on renewable energy and efficiency, researches and mapping potential available renewable resources.

Another way DEA cooperates is through sharing and exporting of energy technology and know-how. In 2007 this technology export accounted for the 9% of the total Danish exports. This was particularly addressed to China.

The joint Danish-Chinese cooperation on climate, energy and building is available in pdf.

The joint Danish-Mexican cooperation on climate and energy is downloadable in pdf.

The joint Danish-Vietnamese cooperation on energy efficiency is available here in pdf.

The joint Danish-South African cooperation in pdf here.

Info on government-to-government energy cooperation on DEA’s website.


Negotiating position

Denmark, via EU participates to the UN international climate negotiations and within the EU it follows a focus in creating a joint regulations for the internal energy market, and common rules for renewable energy and energy efficiency.