Germany has been credited for paving Europe’s way to a renewables-led, zero-carbon future. But the world’s true climate champion is Denmark, which has just set the bar another notch higher than Germany by proposing to accelerate its phase out of coal-fired power plants. Denmark could be coal-free by 2025 —five years ahead of schedule — and generate more than 70 percent of its total energy from renewable sources.
The small Nordic nation of 5.6 million strives to be completely fossil-free by 2050, including even its transportation sector. Yet, in pursuing such impressive goals, Denmark could further stoke Germany’s prodigious coal use — the Achilles’ heel of its heralded Energiewende (clean-energy transition) — to make up for shortfalls in the Danish market. In order to make Denmark’s green energy policies worth emulating, this must be avoided.