Denmark comprises mainland Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
Greenland experienced home rule from 1979 to 21 June 2009, after which it obtained self-government. The Faroe Islands obtained home rule in 1948.
Denmark is a member state of the EU, but its membership only comprises mainland Denmark and not Greenland or the Faroe Islands.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 1992 was ratified by Denmark in 1993 without any territorial reservation relating to Greenland and the Faroe Islands. It entered into force in Denmark on 21 March 1994.
The commitments under the UNFCCC comprise all anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all greenhouse gases, except those covered by the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer 1987. The Montreal Protocol is a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer 1985 and only covers certain types of greenhouse gases that deplete the ozone layer, such as chlorofluorocarbons, halogens and hydrochlorofluorocarbons.
Denmark and other developed parties (including the EU) listed in Annex I to the UNFCCC have undertaken a non-binding commitment to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2000.
The Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC 1996 was ratified by Denmark in 2002 without any territorial reservation for Greenland, but with a territorial exclusion of the Faroe Islands. It entered into force for Denmark on 16 February 2005.
Denmark and other developed parties (including the EU) listed in Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol undertook binding commitments to limit or reduce their emissions of six greenhouse gases in the first five-year commitment period from 2008 to 2012. In 2012, the Doha Amendment was adopted, extending the Kyoto Protocol for a second period, through 2020. Denmark, the EU and other developed parties to the protocol made new commitments for the second period, which are included in an adjusted Annex B. It should be noted, however, that as of August 2019, the Doha Amendment has not entered into force. The amendment will enter into force for those parties having accepted it on the 90th day after the date of receipt by the Depositary of an instrument of acceptance by at least three-quarters of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol. This means that a total of 144 instruments of acceptance are required for the entry into force of the amendment. As of 15 July 2019, 130 parties have deposited their instrument of acceptance.
The quantified commitments to limit or reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases, listed in Annex A to the Kyoto Protocol, are set out in Annex B to the protocol. For the second period, a committed country’s average annual emissions between 2013 and 2020 must not exceed a specified percentage between 76 and 99.5 of its emissions in its base year or period. The average commitment of all countries is a reduction of 18.7 per cent.
The base year is 1990 for all developed countries and parties, except for a few countries undergoing the transition to a market economy. All developed countries may choose to use 1995 as the base year for total emissions of HFCs, PFCs and SF6 (collectively, F-gases). Denmark has chosen to do so.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, both Denmark and the EU member states jointly have binding emission reduction commitments. For the second period, Denmark and the EU member states jointly have a reduction commitment of 20 per cent, as their average annual emissions between 2013 and 2020 must not exceed 80 per cent of their emissions in 1990 (or 1995 for F-gases as regards Denmark and some other EU member states).
Denmark’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol with effect also for Greenland was based on a framework agreement from 2001 between Greenland and Denmark. It is stated in the agreement that Greenland will make an active effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the fulfilment of the Danish emission reduction commitment under the Kyoto Protocol. It is further stated in the agreement that Greenland and Denmark will engage in negotiations if Greenland is not able to contribute to the said extent to the achievement of the reduction.
In 2012, Denmark and Greenland entered into a cooperation agreement in which Greenland’s self-government has repatriated the authority of the climate area. As a result, Greenland has authority to determine Greenland’s climate policy. The security and foreign policies, including the international climate negotiations, rest with the Danish government. Greenland cannot negotiate independently in the climate negotiations under the UN Climate Convention but is part of Denmark’s negotiating team.
In December 2015, the parties to the UNFCCC adopted the Paris Agreement by decision 1/CP.21, at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties held in Paris. The Paris Agreement was ratified by Denmark in 2016 with no territorial reservation for the Faroe Islands but with a territorial exclusion of Greenland. It entered into force in Denmark on 1 December 2016. Denmark will, inter alia, contribute to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement by shifting away from fossil fuels and cutting greenhouse gas emissions with a national target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, as well as a target to reduce greenhouse gases by 70 per cent in 2030 (see questions 3 and 7).
The EU approved the UNFCCC in 1993, the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 and the Paris Agreement in 2016, entering into force for the EU on 21 March 1994, 16 February 2005 and 4 November 2016, respectively. They have been approved and implemented by various EU decisions and provisions, including:
- Council Decision No. 94/69/EC of 15 December 1993 concerning the conclusion of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change;
- Council Decision No. 2002/358/EC of 25 April 2002 concerning the approval, on behalf of the European Community, of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the joint fulfilment of commitments thereunder;
- Commission Decision No. 2005/166/EC of 10 February 2005 laying down rules implementing Decision No. 280/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning a mechanism for monitoring Community greenhouse gas emissions and for implementing the Kyoto Protocol; and
- Council Decision No. 2016/1841 of 5 October 2016 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Other major EU climate regulations and implementing Danish climate regulations are:
- Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) Directive (2003/87/EC) as subsequently amended. This establishes a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the EU. Among other matters, the directive includes provisions on greenhouse gas emissions permits, monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions, and penalties for infringements of implementing national provisions and for surrender of too few allowances. Part of the directive is implemented by Act No. 1095 of 28 November 2012 on CO2 Allowances, as subsequently amended (the CO2 Allowances Act) and orders issued under this act.
- Council Decision No. 406/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the effort of member states to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the EU’s greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments up to 2020.
- Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC), which establishes a common framework for the promotion and regulation of production and use of energy from renewable sources. Some parts of the directive are implemented by provisions in Consolidated Act No. 1288 of 27 October 2016 on the Promotion of Renewable Energy (as subsequently amended) (the RE Act) and amendments to acts on supply of electricity, heating and natural gas and orders issued under those acts. On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package of proposals (COM(2016) (0860)), including a revised Renewable Energy Directive (COM(2016) (0767)) containing, inter alia, a new binding EU-level target of at least 27 per cent renewable energy in the European Union’s gross final consumption of energy in 2030. The Renewable Energy Directive has been amended by Directive 2018/2001/EU, and must be implemented into national law by 30 June 2021.
- EU ETS Amending Directive (2009/29/EC) amends the EU ETS Directive to improve and extend the EU ETS for the period 2013 to 2020 (Phase III of the ETS). It includes other activities (installations) that are sources of emissions and other types of greenhouse gases. In July 2015, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal (COM(2015) (337)) to revise the EU ETS Directive. The proposed amendments improve and extend the EU ETS for the period 2021 to 2030 (Phase IV of the ETS). The proposal is still under discussion in the European Parliament and the Council.
- Geological Storage Directive (2009/31/EC), which contains provisions on geological storage of carbon dioxide. Some parts of the Directive were implemented by Act No. 541 of 30 May 2011 on amendment of the Subsoil Act (Consolidated Act No. 1190 of 21 September 2018). Other parts were implemented by Executive Order No. 1425 of 30 November 2016 on Geological Storage.
- The Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU), which establishes a set of binding measures to help the EU reach its 20 per cent energy efficiency target by 2020. The Directive was implemented by Act No. 345 of 8 April 2014 on the amendment of the Act on the Promotion of Savings in Energy consumption, the Heat Supply Act, the Act on Municipal District Cooling and various other acts. The Energy Efficiency Directive has been amended by Directive 2018/2002/EU, and must be implemented into national law by 25 June 2020.
- Deployment of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (2014/94/EU), which sets out minimum requirements for the building-up of alternative fuels infrastructure, including recharging points for electric vehicles and refuelling points for natural gas and hydrogen. Member states shall notify their national policy frameworks to the European Commission by 18 November 2016. Based on the national policy frameworks, the European Commission will publish and regularly update information on the national targets and the objectives submitted by each member state.
- Regulation 2018/842 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 on binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions, amending Regulation No. 525/2013. The regulation sets out binding targets for each member state for domestic reductions in economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. According to the regulation, all sectors of the member states’ national economies must contribute to achieving these greenhouse gas emission reductions and all member states must participate in this effort, balancing considerations of fairness and solidarity. Each member state must limit its greenhouse gas emissions by at least the percentage set for that member state in Annex I to the regulation in relation to its greenhouse gas emissions in 2005. In Denmark’s case, this means at least 39 per cent.
- Regulation 2019/1242/EU setting CO2 emission performance standards for new heavy-duty vehicles and amending Regulations 595/2009/EC and 2018/956/EU and Directive 96/53/EC. The regulation sets out targets for manufacturers, so they must, from 2025, meet the targets set for the fleet-wide average CO2 emissions of their new lorries registered in a given calendar year. According to the new regulation, the CO2 emissions of new heavy-duty vehicles shall be reduced for 2025 onwards by 15 per cent and for 2030 onwards by 30 per cent. The reference CO2 emissions shall be based on the monitoring data reported pursuant to Regulation 2018/956/EU for the period from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.
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