Denmark’s plans to expand North Sea oil and gas extraction will greatly undermine its emissions targets, a new report by Oil Change International said on Thursday.
The report finds that climate emissions from burning Danish-produced oil and gas would be substantial, overtaking the country's total expected domestic carbon emissions from energy over the next five years.
Should plans to expand North Sea extraction be approved, "Denmark will either meet its domestic emissions targets but export oil and gas with associated emissions that overshadow this domestic progress, or fail to meet its emissions targets and continue to consume more oil and gas domestically than is aligned with its commitments under the Paris Agreement," the report showed.
In late June, Denmark's government pledged to introduce binding decarbonization goals and strengthen its 2030 target to reduce emissions by 70% below the 1990 level.
The current emission target is 40%.
"Denmark says it wants to be a climate leader, but this report shows the current plans for Danish oil and gas expansion are incompatible with climate leadership," said Bronwen Tucker, report author and analyst with Oil Change International.
The report has three recommendations.
First, the report advises that Denmark immediately freeze the granting of further leases or permits for new oil and gas extraction projects or transportation infrastructure that would enable additional exploration.
Second, it recommends that the country revoke undeveloped licenses and review whether existing facilities should be phased out early in order to contribute to the achievement of the Paris Agreement.
Finally, the report urges that Denmark plan and implement a just transition for affected workers and communities in consultation with trade unions and community leaders.
By Zeynep Beyza Kilic