The new green future that the planet needs to fight climate change and deliver better results on biodiversity is not something that will hurt the development of developing countries; it is nothing that will hurt the competitiveness of the countries that are dependent on fossil fuels if done the right way. If done the right way, it will do the exact opposite, says Dan Jorgensen, Danish Minister for Development Cooperation and Minister for Global Climate Policy.

The cheapest energy is the energy that you do not use. When you can manage to introduce systems where you will not only save energy but also use it several times, that will make you more competitive.

For example, most of the countries will at some level think about what to do about hydrogen in the future. Hydrogen will be a major part of our economies, he said at the launch of Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Industry Coalition launched on Thursday in Chennai. The launch was on the sidelines of the 4th Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group Meeting.

Green transformation

Denmark has gone through a green transformation that started in the 1970s. When that started, it was not green, and nobody really talked about the environment, and certainly not about climate change. Then, there was a global oil crisis, an energy crisis, and the Denmark decided that it was time to become independent of imported energy by starting to produce renewable energy and become much more energy efficient.

“The transformation led to a substantial economic growth - from 1990 to today we have doubled the size of the economy but reduced the emission by nearly 50 per cent. This is good news because it shows that fighting climate change, having more sustainable production in the country is not something that will hurt your competitiveness or make you a less well- off country of industry. Actually, it is the opposite because you are forced to develop new technologies; to use more rational solutions and if you are smart, develop technologies that others can use and buy,” he said.

Commitment to climate neutral

Virginijus Sinkevicius, Commissioner of Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, European Union, said the EU is fully committed to a climate neutral, nature positive, resource efficient positive circular economy. In 2019 Global Resource Outlook, the United Nations said 90 per cent of the impact on biodiversity and water, and roughly half greenhouse gas emissions and one third of the impacts on human health are linked to one thing – our extraction and processing of materials resources. That means bio-mass, minerals and metals and fossil fuels, he said.

“If we want to solve the triple crisis of climate, biodiversity and pollution, we have to take far less from nature. We have to use what we take far more effectively, use it longer and change our approach to waste,” he said.