Denmark has become the largest oil producer to date to set a deadline to end oil and gas extraction, in an effort to meet some of the world’s most ambitious climate goals.
While Denmark is known for its low-carbon offshore wind grids and cycle paths, it is the largest producer of oil and gas in the EU, thanks to its domestic industry centered around the North Sea. (Keep in mind: neighboring oil giant Norway is not part of the EU.)
The government will also revoke current and future license cycles for oil and gas extraction, the Danish ministry of climate, energy and utilities said, after a vote on the deadline in the Danish parliament.
The country began extracting oil and gas in 1972, and oil and gas revenues have played a key economic role in building the country’s vast welfare state, the ministry said on Friday. In 2019, the country made 5.9 billion Danish kroner (almost $ 1 billion) in oil and gas revenue, and in 2016, last year, the figures were collected, 4,000 people were employed in the area. Denmark has a population of around 5.8 million people.
As a relatively small oil and gas producer, the Danish climate minister said the country hoped to lead by example by showing that such a cut was possible.
“We intend to show what an ambitious but balanced phase-out of fossil fuel production could look like, taking into account both the urgency of climate change and the very real concerns of workers employed in the fuel sector. fossils, ”Dan Jørgensen said in a statement. . The ministry said the cut would include a “just transition” for these workers and the affected regions.
Denmark has one of the most ambitious government targets for climate change at government level: it has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. .
But it is also a step ahead in the energy transition by other means. Ørsted, the Danish state-owned energy company – originally set up to exploit oil and gas in the North Sea – has grown over the past decade to be the world’s largest offshore wind producer and aims to be carbon neutral by 2025.
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