Here is a book to inspire you as an international decision-maker and as a human being. Read a little of it, jump around in the chapters, or read all of it … many decisions great and small will be required to ensure “green energy for all” and keep global climate changes in check. At this very moment, all of us on this beautiful, blue planet have a golden opportunity to make a meaningful difference.
Do you know the anecdote about the 12 economists who were locked in a room to calculate the price of climate changes? When they finally emerged with spiky hair and blood-shot eyes, the result of the calculations from the wise men showed that saving the world is not worth it!
Fortunately, this is not so. Sustainable development is the opposite of a heavy burden: A green conversion of the entire energy system increases the quality of life and creates new business opportunities.
Denmark has gained political experience in climate change since 1990, and although remarkable results have been achieved, there has been – and still is – a certain lackadaisical progression to it all, which remains. Much strong commitment and battles waged against traditional economic thinking are required to ensure the change.
The Danish model can and should not be copied. Every country, every enterprise and every municipality has its own starting point and must choose its own path. The common denominator for everyone is that we need measures for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and this is where my homeland is in the front line.
My name is Jesper Tornbjerg (1962‑). I am a journalist and have written thousands of news articles and analyses on the environment, energy and climate for a number of media. From 2004-2016 I have been executive editor of Nyhedsbladet Dansk Energi, the magazine of the Danish Energy Association, which is read by the elite in the field of energy policy in Denmark. A higher level of knowledge among journalists is important for the democratic debate, so since 1995 I have also spent time on Foreningen af Energi og Miljøjournalister, the Society of Energy and Environmental Journalists, which is probably the most dynamic network of its kind in the world.
Climate and energy policy is extremely important for the future of our planet. I have covered almost all climate conferences from COP3 in Kyoto in 1997 to COP21 in Paris in 2015. Although we have a political breakthrough, I do not doubt that it is necessary to continue the global dialog and acknowledgment process, which the COPs are also an expression of.
I have two wonderful sons and live in Copenhagen. Throughout the entire winter season I need the heat coming from my radiators, which provide me with virtually CO2 neutral district heating. I turn off the lights and the stand-by consumption of appliances when I leave home, so that electricity consumption is minimal. I gladly pay my taxes and energy taxes, as long as the money goes to sensible, activities for the common good: Free education, free medical care, a social safety net, a non-corrupt police and judicial system, and – of course – energy efficiency measures and renewable energy.
Like all countries, Denmark has problems, but first and foremost it is a country characterized by prosperity, a high degree of equality, due process and NGOs in every area. I think that it is a strong symbol of green progress and the quality of life that inhabitants in the metropolis of Copenhagen can swim in clean water in the harbor – like I do – and bicycle throughout the city without breathing difficulties due to air pollution.
I, myself, commute every day by bicycle or train. I do not have a car, but I borrow one from family and friends when I need to make a longer journey.
Despite these good habits, my personal carbon footprint is heavily strained by air travel and a little too much meat on the menu, so because of this and for far more important reasons, we must develop a carbon-neutral society. Community, interaction, solutions … these are what this book is about.
Green Energy for All – the story of the Danish energy model.
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