United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

H.E. Mr. Erik Laursen

The perspective I have been asked to provide to day is that of “a developed country”.
First some background remarks.
Background & Taxation:
• Since 1980, Denmark has managed to ensure an increase in GDP while
maintaining a close to stable energy consumption and without concurrent
increases in the level of Greenhouse Gas emissions. From 1990 to 2011, adjusted
we saw a fall in gross energy Over the same period GDP grew by more than 38%.
The energy intensity in the Danish economy is falling. In 2011 each unit of GDP
accounted for 28% less energy than in 1990. Since 1990, CO2 emissions have
fallen by more than 19%.
• The Danish experience shows that many of the instruments highlighted in the
international debate do actually work when they are applied in a sensible way. For
example regulation, setting targets, standards and clear guidelines about where we
are going and how to get there. This helps stimulate investment and focus areas
for innovation.
• In Denmark there is a relatively high taxation rate – including green taxes.
Denmark is among the OECD countries with the highest level of green taxes.
• In Denmark, environmental and energy policies, regulations and instruments such
as taxation and feed-in tariffs have been crucial in the development of the
domestic market for clean technologies. At the same time, support mechanisms
for research, development and demonstration have proven effective in stimulating
private-sector innovation.
Resource efficiency:
• In Denmark, one of the objectives has been to use pricing mechanisms to
increase efficiency and also to promote environmental priorities and improve the
state of the environment. For example, pricing mechanisms for water and energy
have motivated consumers to choose more efficient products and to use less, and
system inefficiencies have been reduced by minimising leakages and ensuring
better grid integration.
• Energy efficiency: Denmark’s long-term energy policy goal is clear: the entire
energy supply is to be covered by renewable energy by 2050. A crucial element in
Denmark’s transition to 100% renewable energy will be more energy-efficient
technologies. Without increased energy efficiency, economic growth will push up
energy consumption and make it disproportionally expensive to expand the share
of renewables in the energy supply. Moreover, investments in energy efficiency
are often associated with quick return on investment.
• Water efficiency: A tax on water has been introduced to reflect the price of
water accurately. The water tax, together with the introduction of new
technologies that reduce leakages, increase re-use of water or even just make
toilets flush with less water, has been significant in reducing water consumption in
Denmark. Water for drinking purposes is mostly abstracted directly from groundwater
Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN)
• United Nations has chosen Denmark as the location for the new Climate
Technology Centre & Network (CTCN). The location of UN's new Climate
Technology Centre & Network (CTCN) in the UN-City in Copenhagen is an
• Denmark has strongly supported the establishment of the CTCN, and by placing
the Centre in Copenhagen we are proud to be able to contribute to mitigation
against and adaptation to climate change in developing countries. It will give
Denmark a unique platform to promote green growth and may also benefit
Danish science and commercial interest.
• UNEP, the host of CTCN, has already concentrated a great deal of its energy
activities with the UNEP Risøe Centre at the Technical University of Denmark.
Moreover the Danish Government is working towards the creation of a hub for
energy efficiency under the initiative of the UN Secretary General, "Sustainable
Energy for All", also to be located in the UN-City in Copenhagen.
• In practical terms the Centre shall create databases on climate technology,
communicate requests and responses on climate technology problems, identify
relevant national contact points, develop and organize training programmes and
through such activities strengthen the climate technology network at regional and
international level involving all stakeholders.
The Danish Climate Investment Fund:
• In December 2012, the Danish government established the Danish Climate
Investment Fund (DCIF). The main objective of the climate investment fund is to
mobilise public and private capital for investments with a positive climate impact
in order to meet the increasing investment needs for adaptation and mitigation in
the developing countries.
• DCIF will focus on projects that either directly or indirectly reduce the emissions
of greenhouse gasses. The project types will typically be either private sector
project companies producing energy or companies manufacturing either
components or systems where the use of the product has a positive impact on
greenhouse gas emissions.
• DCIF will also focus on adaptation projects that are primarily aimed at
responding to the adverse consequences of climate change. Potential business
areas for adaptation projects include water management, agriculture, disaster
preparedness, coastal and natural resource management, insurance and climate
change information and consulting services.
Global Green Growth Forum (3GF)
• The Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) is a global public-private partnership
consisting of the Governments of Denmark, Korea and Mexico, a number of
leading global corporations and international organizations. The mission of the
Forum is to explore and demonstrate how better collaboration among leading
businesses, investors and key public institutions can effectively realize the
potential for long-term global green growth.
• 3GF advances public-private partnerships in cooperation with other international
forums and processes, including the Clean Energy Ministerial, the B20 process,
SE4ALL, the World Economic Forum, UN Global Compact and the C40.
Through its annual forums, 3GF gives emerging and existing public-private
partnerships a shared, informal, high-level platform, where the spotlight is placed
on their business case and ultimate potential to spur global economic growth.
• Danida – 15 bill. DKK (2.6 bill. USD) yearly. More than 0.8 per cent of our GDP
• Four strategic priority areas: combatting poverty (Africa, Asia, Latin America,
UN, etc)
- Green growth
- Human rights and democracy
- Social progress
- Stability and protection
Promote innovative technology and financial solutions within agriculture, forestry,
environment, energy, water, climate
African Development Bank and Denmark: established a sustainable energy fund for
Africa (Budget 57 mio USD) – provide technical capacity building and capital for
bankable investments. Catalyzing private sector investments. – expect the fund to
become a multidonor fund in the future.
Idea: Africa’s underutilized renewable energy resources, together with technologies
becoming more reliable and profitable create promising market opportunities in Africa.
Africa: solar, wind, hydro, biomass – have potential to cover energy needs of the
continent; buring of solid fuels causing millions of deaths per year (WHO) – children
and women most affected; almost 70-80% of SSA still no electricity. Several African
countries have adopted national targets for RE; feed in tariffs for RE electricity
generation is being introduced; many developing wind farms, geothermal investments,
hydropower, solar
Example: Asia - Bangladesh:
Danida Business Partnership Program – aim attract Danish investments to
Bangladesh. Establish commercial partnerships between Danish and Bangladeshi
companies; through attracting Danish technology and investments to Bangladesh private
secgtor. Business-to-business cooperation.
Since 2000: more than 100 commercial partnerships with substantial technology transfer.
In areas such as web, pharmaceuticals. GIS Services, fibre optic cables, ultrasound
medical eqwuipment, equipment for food and dairy industry, shipbuilding, ice cream
production. Bangladesh is capable of establishing new business in sophisticated and
advanced fields
Cooperation with Asia changing these years
Chinese technology investments in Denmark – (Huawei) a leading global information
and communications technology solutions provider – serving 45 of the world’s top 50
operators – one billion users worldwide. DK Government has decided to be among the
worlds leading ICT countries; strong cross-disciplinary research.
Indian companies investing in Denmark – mergers – life sciences, pharmaceutical, wind
turbines – joint ventures
Health and Life Sciences – DK third largest drug pipeline in Europe; a leader in areas of
enzymes, diabetes, cancer research
Wind energy – European Headquarter in Denmark
Total: 29 percent increase in Asian technology investments in Denmark last year alone.
Growing number of Asian companies invest in Denmark
We have learned what is important to attract foreign investments: Ease of doing
business, infrastructure, R&D, Labour market flexibility,
HL Panel on Post 2015 Framework and Partnership
Stress: global multi-stakeholder partnerships – already delivering promising results at
scale: health, nutrition, education, water, energy and IT Technology.
Target 12: Promote collaboration on and access to science, technology, innovation etc..
Innovative democratic financing mechanisms with a focus on women. Developed
countries can encourage innovation, diffusion and transfer of technology.
The most important changes will be driven by technology, innovation, policy guidelines,
(including incentives, taxation, good governance, accountability), education.
Chance to leapfrog