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Danish Ambassador On Low-Carbon, Resource-Efficient Society


4 Sept. 2018, SMX Convention Center: Opening Ceremony of the Powertrends 2018 with His Excellency Jan Top Christensen, Danish Ambassador to the Philippines, Royal Danish Embassy Manila (Photo by M. Villegas, Philippine Resources Journal)

By Marcelle P. Villegas


His Excellency Jan Top Christensen has been the Danish Ambassador to the Philippines since 2014, representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark for the past 11 years. His speech during the Opening Ceremony of Powertrends 2018 last 4th of September focused on Denmark as a country that is on the fast tract of being a green country, or “State of Green”.


State of Green is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership from Denmark which aims “to foster relations with international stakeholders who are interested in discussing their challenges and bring into play relevant Danish competencies and technologies that enable the green transition”. [1]


State of Green serves as a one-point entry to more than 600 Danish businesses, governmental and academic institutions, experts, and researchers. State of Green is also a connection with all leading Danish players who are working to drive the global transition to sustainable, low-carbon, resource-efficient society. Generally, their scope of connections and discussions cover renewable energy, energy efficiency, water management, waste management, climate adaption or integrated urban solutions. The goal of State of Green is to support the role of companies and stakeholders in the global green transition

in the most optimal way.


Here is the speech of His Excellency Jan Top Christensen during the Opening Ceremony of Powertrends 2018 which was held in SMX Convention Center.


“Thank you very much and good morning to all of you. I am happy to be invited to this event by the organiser of Powertrends. I used to be the ambassador of Denmark. Now we call it the State of Green. Over the past 35 years, Denmark has managed to decouple the economic growth from our overall energy consumption. Danish GDP has increased by more than 70% while our energy consumption has remained unchanged. Energy efficiency is extremely important. And by the way, our water consumption has decreased during the same time by 40%.


“Denmark was once entirely dependent on imported oil and fossil fuels. Today, more than 30% of our energy needs come from renewables. We expect to reach 50% in 12 years and by 2050, Denmark will be 100% independent of fossil fuels altogether. Political stability has been vital in securing long-term investment and establishing ambitious long-term targets. Public-private partnerships, PPP's models have proved a highly successful way of devising solutions to maybe at least sustainable development and challenges. Fulfilling the dream in 2050, vision will require a genuine paradigm shift in Danish energy policy in the coming years.


“In Denmark, we see the green transition as an investment in future economic growth, market

opportunities, and job creation. Many paths lead to green low-carbon economy living up to the ambitions in the Paris Agreement from 2015. There is no single technology or sector that can achieve this transition alone. A holistic approach and collaboration across sectors and borders are paramount in developing integrated, affordable and sustainable solutions. Having an energy system with large amounts of green energy, high energy security, and very competitive energy prices, Denmark has now become a green hub for data centers offering an attractive business environment to large multinational investors such as Apple and Google. These companies have been, in the last couple of years, established big centers in Denmark because of the low energy prices.


“The transition to a green economy is also at the heart of the global agenda. Investment in renewables, a new renewables capacity was roughly double that of fossil fuel generation in 2016. That’s a very interesting figure. And this is for the fifth successive year, so the green energy solutions are actually competitive and beating the fossil fuel generation. Furthermore, in many cases investment returns on green portfolios now outperform investments in fossil fuels.


“Electricity harnessed from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar is one of the cheapest alternatives in the market. In fact, onshore wind is the cheapest energy source in Denmark. In a nutshell, short payback time on green solutions make it highly attractive and cost-effective for cities and industries to make the necessary investments.


“Denmark is present with solutions also in the Philippines. Denmark has provided the wind turbines turning in Burgos [Ilocos Norte]. We involved in biomass projects, for example in Mindanao. We are involved in hybrid solutions for the many islands that are off the grid. Denmark is big time present here and is ready to do much more.


“Let me finish by referring to the prophetic song by good old Bob Dylan from 1962, when the world was still young and I was so. Bob Dylan sang, ‘The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.’


Ladies and gentlemen, we look forward to further engaging with all relevant stakeholders, public and private. Maraming salamat po.”


References:


[1] State of Green - https://stateofgreen.com/en/


Additional resources from Greenport - https://www.greenport.com/news101/Products-and-Services/denmark-state-of-green)

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