Greener cities – Copenhagen taking the lead

Going green is a global issue, but some cities do not wait for international agreements to reach goals on becoming greener. Copenhagen is aiming at becoming the first CO2-neutral capital in 2025, and the city is actively measuring and reporting on greenhouse gas emissions, and has already been able to report a reduction of 5.2%.

Further, the recent Global Green Growth Forum located in Copenhagen kicked off the Green Growth Network, which is being led by the city of Copenhagen. The Green Growth Network has the aim of cities sharing and discussing best practises on how cities can work with private sector organisations, establish green clusters, establish an economic rationale for green growth and justify the benefit of green policies.

That Copenhagen is a green frontrunner is backed by the recent OECD Report Measuring the Potential of Local Green Growth. This report describes Copenhagen as an environment with significant first-mover advantages with green industries and technologies, and points out that the cleantech cluster in the Greater Copenhagen Area is one of the leading cleantech clusters in the world. This is due to factors like public sustainability strategies, a tradition of collaboration and consensus-building within the political system, knowledge sharing and research cooperation as an integral part of the cluster, and a highly specialised pool of talent.

These factors have led to the city of Copenhagen performing better than the OECD average on parameters such as per capita emissions, energy consumption, water consumption, regional waste collection, per capital recycling, R&D employment and ‘green’ patents.

The conclusions of the OECD report are backed by The 2012 Global Green Economy Index , issued by Dual citizen. Denmark comes in the top with regards to green perception as well as performance. Of the top green cities Copenhagen also comes out with a very strong reputation.

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