Satisfied with its performance as conference host

The Danish government was satisfied with its performance during the December 2009 Copenhagen conference; however, the negotiation strategy of the EU was conceived as somewhat imperfect. The Danish EU-Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, pointed to the lack of leadership on the part of the EU as one of the main reasons for the failure in Copenhagen. She thus suggested that the EU would have had to step up offers to bring funds to developing countries at an earlier stage during the conference.11ZealandDenmark: Høring sluttede med klapsalver, 15 January 2010.

On the part of the opposition, the Copenhagen conference was generally considered a failure since no binding agreement was reached. The People’s Movement Against the EU said the EU treated the developing countries in an arrogant way during the negotiations.22Arbejderen: Efter Hopenhagen, 23 December 2009.

The Danish EU-Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, and Member of European Parliament (MEP) Jens Rohde both argued in favour of raising the 20 percent reduction goal to 30 percent due to the potential economic effects it might entail.33LandbrugsAvisen: EU-Parlamentet vil have højere klimamål, 11 February 2010. The government generally supported the idea of the EU taking the global lead on climate change and there was a broad consensus on raising the reduction goal. Former commissioner and Director-General for Environment, Jørgen Henningsen, said that the EU’s 20 percent reduction goal is too small to foster climate friendly technology advances.44Information: CO2-reduktion: EU’s mål for klimaet er allerede klaret af krise og CO2-kreditter, 18 March 2010. Rina Ronja Kari, spokesperson for the People’s Movement Against the EU, commented that Denmark’s membership of the EU forced Denmark to work for an unambitious climate deal at the 2009 Copenhagen conference. While the EU will cut 20-30 percent, some experts have pushed for cuts of up to 40 percent.55Lolland-Falsters Folketidende: EU svigter ulandene, 22 December 2009. Greenpeace voiced their regret that the EU did not decide on a 30 percent emissions reduction instead of 20 percent. Jan Søndergård of Greenpeace thus commented that the EU’s 20 percent goal had already proven to be unsuccessful.66Arbejderen: EU undergraver FN, 30 March 2010.

Europe’s future potential

On the more positive side, MEP Dan Jørgensen commented that there is still a chance for the EU to become a leading global power on climate change.77Frederiksborg Amts Avis: EU vil højne klimamål, 11 February 2010. However, this would require a greater will on the part of the EU, more ambitious reduction goals and the ability to speak with one voice.88Fyens Stifttidende: Den allersidste chance, 7 February 2010. Both Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and ECON Pöyry’s director, Jørgen Abildgaard, supported Jørgensen’s argument and said that the EU must show itself as a motivating force on global climate change.99Information: CO2-reduktion: EU’s mål for klimaet er allerede klaret af krise og CO2-kreditter, 18 March 2010. Mandag Morgen, a think tank, similarly commented that the EU could have great possibilities of setting the agenda on climate policy in the years to come.1010Mandag Morgen: Europas klimachance, 19 February 2010; ZealandDenmark: Høring sluttede med klapsalver, 15 January 2010.

In general, the debate seldom concerned the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its role in negotiating a global climate change agreement. The general opinion was that Denmark, as a small country, needs to participate in international development cooperation both within the EU and the United Nations.1111Ulandsnyt: Klimakonferencen II, 23 January 2010. The Minister for Climate and Energy, Lykke Friis, thus stated that it was still the government’s goal to work to reach a binding agreement within the organisation of the United Nations.1212Information: Efterspil: Løkke afviser kritik af COP15-forløb, 27 January 2010.

Financing mitigation and adaptation efforts in developing countries

The government expressed satisfaction with Denmark’s effort on development aid. MEP Dan Jørgensen commented that it is unrealistic to believe that Denmark’s development aid in itself will cover the costs of climate change adaptation in developing countries. He called for more money as well as new market based initiatives, such as a quota trade charge used for investments in adaptation in developing countries.1313Politiken: Hvis klimamødet skal blive en succes…, 4 December 2009; Fyens Stiftstidende: Den allersidste chance, 7 February 2010. It is a bad sign that the EU is going to reuse the development aid to fund climate change adaptation in developing countries.1414Nordjyske Stiftstidende: Ulande snydes for et stort klimabeløb, 22 March 2010.

Uffe Torm of Danish Mission Council Development Department, an umbrella organisation for Danish churches, also pointed to the growing need for humanitarian aid as a consequence of climate change and the global food crisis. He therefore found it very positive that the development consequences of climate change were mentioned in the draft for a new Danish development policy. However, he criticised the fact that the Danish government in spite of its previous promises had not approved any extra funding to cover the increased costs facing the developing countries.1515Politiken: Fattigdom, frihed og forandring, 14 April 2010. Troels Dam Christensen, coordinator of the 92 Group, an umbrella NGO group, further commented that there is a strong presumption that the rich countries and Denmark are going to reuse the development aid to fund climate change adaptation in developing countries and that this was a very disappointing thing.1616Nordjyske Stiftstidende: Ulande snydes for et stort klimabeløb, 22 March 2010. Greenpeace added that it was unclear whether the EU’s climate aid for developing countries through 2012 would be financed by new EU funds or by the EU countries’ development aid until now.1717Arbejderen: EU undergraver FN, 30 March 2010. This statement was supported by the People’s Movement Against the EU, who commented that the developed countries as a group should set aside a new sum of money for the sole purpose of helping the developing world adapt to climate change.1818Arbejderen: Efter Hopenhagen, 23 December 2009.

    Footnotes

  • 1ZealandDenmark: Høring sluttede med klapsalver, 15 January 2010.
  • 2Arbejderen: Efter Hopenhagen, 23 December 2009.
  • 3LandbrugsAvisen: EU-Parlamentet vil have højere klimamål, 11 February 2010.
  • 4Information: CO2-reduktion: EU’s mål for klimaet er allerede klaret af krise og CO2-kreditter, 18 March 2010.
  • 5Lolland-Falsters Folketidende: EU svigter ulandene, 22 December 2009.
  • 6Arbejderen: EU undergraver FN, 30 March 2010.
  • 7Frederiksborg Amts Avis: EU vil højne klimamål, 11 February 2010.
  • 8Fyens Stifttidende: Den allersidste chance, 7 February 2010.
  • 9Information: CO2-reduktion: EU’s mål for klimaet er allerede klaret af krise og CO2-kreditter, 18 March 2010.
  • 10Mandag Morgen: Europas klimachance, 19 February 2010; ZealandDenmark: Høring sluttede med klapsalver, 15 January 2010.
  • 11Ulandsnyt: Klimakonferencen II, 23 January 2010.
  • 12Information: Efterspil: Løkke afviser kritik af COP15-forløb, 27 January 2010.
  • 13Politiken: Hvis klimamødet skal blive en succes…, 4 December 2009; Fyens Stiftstidende: Den allersidste chance, 7 February 2010.
  • 14Nordjyske Stiftstidende: Ulande snydes for et stort klimabeløb, 22 March 2010.
  • 15Politiken: Fattigdom, frihed og forandring, 14 April 2010.
  • 16Nordjyske Stiftstidende: Ulande snydes for et stort klimabeløb, 22 March 2010.
  • 17Arbejderen: EU undergraver FN, 30 March 2010.
  • 18Arbejderen: Efter Hopenhagen, 23 December 2009.

The reports focus on a reporting period from December 2009 until May 2010. This survey was conducted on the basis of a questionnaire that has been elaborated in March and April 2010. Most of the 31 reports were delivered in May 2010.

The EU-27 Watch No. 9 receives significant funding from the Otto Wolff-Foundation, Cologne, in the framework of the ‘Dialog Europa der Otto Wolff-Stiftung’, and financial support from the European Commission. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.