Getting to zero: case studies from around the world

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Whilst the negotiators hammer it out in Paris, trying to agree on a global deal to stop climate change, thousands of projects world-wide are already reducing carbon emissions, generating energy, alleviating fuel poverty and working towards a safer world. As part of our series of posts we will be doing around the Paris climate talks we will look at positive projects that show us Who’s Getting Ready for Zero.

Name of Project;
Copenhagen – The First Carbon Neutral Capital by 2025

Where is it?
Copenhagen, Denmark

In a nutshell
This  scheme will integrate energy and power resources and enable Copenhagen to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025. The city intends replacing coal with biomass,  add 100 wind turbines and solar electricity to the grid, and to upgrade high energy use buildings. Although bikes are commonplace in Copenhagen, local residents will be further encouraged to use bikes and public transport.

København (Copenhagen), Sjælland (Zealand), Danmark (Denmark) Photo: News Øresund - Johan Wessman © News Øresund Detta verk av News Øresund är licensierat under en Creative Commons Erkännande 3.0 Unported-licens (CC BY 3.0). Bilden får fritt publiceras under förutsättning att källa anges (Foto: News Øresund - Johan Wessman). The picture can be used freely under the prerequisite that the source is given (Photo: News Øresund - Johan Wessman). News Øresund, Malmö, Sweden. News Øresund är en oberoende regional nyhetsbyrå som ingår i projektet Øresund Media Platform som drivs av Øresundsinstituttet i partnerskap med Lunds universitet och Roskilde Universitet och med delfinansiering från EU (Interreg IV A Öresund) och 14 regionala; icke kommersiella aktörer.

Copenhagen has already reduced its emissions by 21 percent from 2005 to 2011. The city currently emits about 2 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, and earlier initiatives were on target to reduce emissions to 1.16 million tons by 2025. The new Carbon Neutral plan approved last year will cut CO2 emissions  further, to about 400,000 tons by 2025.  Most of the emissions reductions identified will come through using less carbon-intensive ways to produce heat and electricity, via a range of renewables including biomass, wind, geothermal and solar.


What they are doing

There is a planned $472 million to be be invested in the climate plan up until 2025, in addition private funds and investment could hit $4.78 billion over the same period. Officials acknowledge that the city has to invest a lot of money to reach the target, but believe that it will create new sustaianble jobs. They view Copenhagen as a green laboratory for developing and testing new green solutions.

Key challenges

The population of Copenhagen is expected to grow by more than 100,000 residents by 2025 but showing that a modern city can eradicate carbon is crucial in fight on climate change. Cities are responsible for more than 70% of global co2 emissions and two-thirds of worldwide energy consumption.

Future plans

In addition to the plans for energy transiation, the city is aiming for 75% of trips to be made by bike, foot or public transport. They are planning a further 44 miles of cycle tracks that are better lit and connect with neighbouring towns.