The Danish capital Copenhagen has recently abandoned its pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2025.
Giving up on its ambitious target as one of the greenest cities in the world, renowned for its cycling culture and various sustainability initiatives, has certainly cast a shadow of doubt over other climate plans far and wide.
Copenhagen revealed its plan to become the first carbon-neutral city by 2025 exactly a decade ago, in 2012, and since then the city has been the subject of international recognition for its efforts to tackle climate change.
According to Copenhagen’s strategy, 80% of the city’s CO2 emissions were to be reduced by shifting its power and heating systems to renewables and biomass, constructing more energy efficient buildings and focusing on public transport.
The rest of the emissions were meant to be taken care of by equipping the local waste-to-energy plant with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.
However, last month, the entity managing the plant, Amager Resource Center (ARC), announced it was not eligible for national carbon capture funding, and thus, the Danish capital effectively gave up on its net-zero pledge.
Similar pledges have been made by cities, companies and entire nations around the world, all of which now stand undermined due to this recent event.
A prominent issue with climate goals of this nature is the evident lack of scrutiny and apparent ambiguity where detailed steps should have been made clear.
A glaring example of the same was the UK government’s net-zero strategy that was declared unlawful by the nation’s High Court in July 2022 exactly due to such lack of clarity and, what is no less important, a lack of legally binding targets.
Environmentalists now fear that many other net-zero pledges are now likely to follow Copenhagen.