Twenty Danish municipalities take the lead against climate change

1. May 2019

Twenty Danish municipalities are developing highly ambitious climate plans with inspiration from the world's leading cities in the climate area. The 20 municipalities were selected for the Danish climate project DK2020, aiming to give a boost to implementation in Denmark of the goals in the Paris Agreement. Realdania, the international C40 network of cities and the green think tank CONCITO are behind DK2020.

There are large, medium-sized and small municipalities in the project. They are spread throughout Denmark and include rural, coastal and urban municipalities. Therefore, they have vastly different challenges and goals with regard to municipal climate planning. 

However, all 20 of the municipalities in DK2020 share an ambition to bolster their climate ambitions and they are developing climate plans and initiatives that live up to the most ambitious target in the Paris Agreement to work towards a global temperature rise of less than 2°C, and as close as to 1.5°C as possible. 

The Danish municipalities have been selected from among 31 applicants, and they will be following in the footsteps of some of the leading international cities in the climate area. This will mean that Danish municipalities can help the world to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to benefit the municipalities themselves, Denmark and the rest of the world. 

Collaboration required to solve climate challenges

"It's good to see that so many different Danish municipalities are taking the climate seriously and want to be part of a project like DK2020. There’s a strong need for collaboration across Denmark and between the world's cities, if we’re to meet the enormous climate challenges ahead. With DK2020, Danish municipalities can draw inspiration from the best climate solutions in the world and, in return, the best Danish solutions can go out to the rest of the world. We’re extremely excited to see the results of the Danish municipalities’ ambitious climate work,” said Jesper Nygård, CEO of Realdania.  

The background for DK2020 is the Deadline 2020 report, published by the international C40 cities network and the consultancy firm Arup in 2016 following the Paris Agreement. The report sets a global standard for how cities and municipalities can contribute to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement. It also points out that up to 40% of the goals in the Paris Agreement can be reached by implementing the right climate measures in the world's cities and municipalities. 

After having published the Deadline2020 report, C40 has set up a global resource centre to help the network’s 94 member cities prepare climate plans to meet the most ambitious 1.5°C objective in the Paris Agreement. This global and ambitious approach is now possible for 20 Danish municipalities to realise through DK2020.

Municipalities learn from one another

Part of DK2020 will be carried out as peer-learning, by which the selected municipalities can learn from one another and exchange solutions and experience with other participating municipalities. Municipalities will also receive technical support and advice from global and Danish experts from C40 and the CONCITO green think-tank to develop, update or adjust their climate work so that it lives up to the C40 standard for climate planning. 

The municipal climate plans will include instructions on how the municipalities can become climate-neutral by no later than 2050 and set ambitious sub-goals for greenhouse-gas reductions in the period. The plans will also contain instructions on how the municipalities can prepare citizens for the consequences of climate change and minimise the risk of climate-related flooding, for example.

DK2020 will run to April 2020. The goal is for the selected municipalities to have Deadline2020-inspired climate plans in place by the end of 2020.