Denmark gets central role at UN climate summit

Denmark will lead energy discussions at the UN climate summit in September.

Photo: Ritzau Scanpix/Ernst Van Norde

The UN General Secretary has requested the Danish government lead energy talks ahead of the next UN climate summit in September, says Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen Tuesday during parliamentary question time.

"We can be proud of that," he says.

The UN climate summit in New York will be attended by state leaders.

It is expected to be the largest climate summit this year, with countries expected to commit to investing more in fighting climate change.

"This is a task, which apart from Denmark, is only entrusted to the largest countries in the world. Denmark has been appointed by the UN Secretary General because we take leadership, because we create concrete, green results," says the Danish PM.

The Prime Minister emphasizes the Danish P4G initiative. PG4 stands for "Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030" and was launched by Løkke Rasmussen on behalf of the government in September 2017.

The initiative has "won more support than I had imagined," says Løkke. According to Løkke Rasmussen, this contributed to Denmark's nomination by the UN general secretary.

Overall climate is ranked highly on the political agenda. It is expected to be a key issue in the upcoming national elections around the world.

Last month, Denmark saw a citizen proposal for a new climate policy, the hitherto most widely supported of its kind Parliament.

Close to 67,000 have signed the proposal, which was not enough to rally a majority. Both the government and the Danish People's Party voted against it.

The overarching aim of the citizen proposal is to ensure that Denmark takes an active role in the fight against climate change.

Climate minister Lars Christian Lilleholt has repeatedly maintained that the government sees positive elements and agrees with many of the considerations in the citizen's proposal.

After the next parliamentary election, the government will put forward a new proposal for a new climate agreement. According to Lilleholt, the government will allow itself to be inspired by some elements from the citizen proposal.

However, the opposition says that it is a cheap ploy for the government to say that it will put forward a new climate policy later, when it would not vote for the citizen proposal now.

English Edit: Lena Rutkowski

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