Mayors Voices: Copenhagen Lord Mayor Frank Jensen on City Climate Leadership Awards

I was very honoured when I heard that Copenhagen had been nominated for the C40 & Siemens City Climate Leadership Award in the category of Carbon Measurement & Planning. Obviously, I felt even prouder when we were informed that the Copenhagen Climate Plan 2025 had won the award.

What is so special about Copenhagen’s Climate Plan?

First of all, the entire City Council is behind it. Second, it has a clear vision: By 2025 Copenhagen will be the first capital in the world to become carbon neutral. Broad-based political support is crucial when planning a major transition like this. We all know, however, that a political vision is only as strong as the concrete actions invested in realizing it. That is why we have a step-by-step plan with more than 50 initiatives focusing on measurable, interim targets that will enable us to reach our ambitious goal.

Some of the major steps involve a switch from coal to biomass in combined heat and power plants; a substantial reduction in building emissions; further dissemination of solar cells and wind turbines; an extensive public transport and bike network; a new high-tech waste treatment center, and the further development of Copenhagen into a SMART city with an accessible, digital infrastructure.

Mayors Bloomberg & Jensen

Mayors Bloomberg and Jensen, New York, January, 2013

Strong incentives for creating a CO2 neutral city

Copenhagen is taking responsibility for the fight against climate change – and we have found that there are strong incentives for creating a CO2 neutral city. We are taking action, and our 50-step action plan showcases our ability to increase economic growth, job creation, urban development and the quality of life for citizens – all while reducing CO2 emissions.

In Copenhagen we are using the CO2 reductions as a catalyst for change and development. Together with companies and universities we are finding new solutions that are smarter, greener, healthier and more profitable: solutions that help Copenhagen become a better city, solutions that promote Green Growth, enhance the quality of life and help companies to develop and test new technology.

We are simply working around the clock to ensure that Copenhagen will continue to be among the most liveable and sustainable cities in the world. In order to succeed with this agenda, we must work closely with other cities to find, develop and implement the best and most energy efficient urban solutions.

The C40 is a key player in bringing cities together to promote climate leadership, economic growth and knowledge-sharing. By bringing policy makers and private companies together, C40 has also helped to put climate and the green growth issues to the top of the international agenda. In Copenhagen we are committed to developing the green growth agenda and, through our work with the C40 network of cities, we expect to make great strides over the coming years.

This is the second in a series of 10 posts highlighting the winners of the C40 & Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards. Click here to read more about the Awards and the 2013 Winners – and cast your vote for the Citizen’s Choice Award!

Stay tuned for more information on the second C40 Green Growth Network Workshop taking place in Copenhagen next week. To hear from Lord Mayor Jensen on last year’s event, click here.