Denmark made a bold move last week that could cement its reputation as the global leader in clean energy and climate change action. According to Motherboard, the Danish government announced that the country will work towards the goal of getting rid of coal power within 10 years, instead of their previous goal of 15 years. “I have asked my office to investigate what could be done to stop burning coal in just 10 years,” Denmark’s climate and energy minister, Rasmus Petersen told The Copenhagen Post. “It would obviously have to be accomplished along with industry, and I am not sure how to achieve the objective, but I do want to investigate it.”
Coal currently provides nearly 20 percent of Denmark’s energy production, but has been gradually phased out in recent years in favor of alternative, green power sources like biomass and wind power. Petersen told The Copenhagen Post that working to phase it out of the country’s energy supply earlier than planned would not only help the environment, but send a powerful signal. “Coal is the cheapest fuel available today,” he said. “We cannot, in the long run, only opt for the cheapest option.”
A working group has already been put in place to look at how the goal of getting rid of coal faster can be achieved, and according to Petersen, there’s no question about Denmark eventually becoming coal-free. Motherboard notes that this is just one of a healthy list of green energy goals Denmark has, which include: 100 percent renewable energy by 2050; 100 percent renewable energy in electricity and heating by 2035; 40 percent reduction of domestic greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 by 2020; 50 percent of electricity demands met by wind by 2020. Now, how to get other nations on board?