Denmark’s energy ministry has been advised to cancel the country’s 8th oil and gas licensing round, in order to maintain its position as a climate-leading country, Kallanish Energy reports.
Independent adviser to the government, the Danish Council on Climate Change, said on Thursday that the bidding round that took place in 2018 and received interest from four companies would undermine Denmark’s ambitious climate change targets.
The government has postponed the granting of the licenses to evaluate and coordinate a decision with upcoming climate action plans. It commissioned the council to carry out an analysis of the best course of action.
The country aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030. By allowing further oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, the government would be weakening the Danish credibility as a climate pioneer, the council said.
The recommendation is for the country to stop any further exploration activities and subsequent license rounds, even though it recognizes that if Denmark produces less oil and gas, other countries will produce more.
“The hunt for new oil and gas fields in the North Sea can damage Denmark’s climate credibility on the international scene. By continuing the supply rounds in the North Sea, we risk diluting the status of a pioneer country that Denmark achieves through ambitious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions within Denmark’s borders,” the council said.
Climate and energy minister Dan Jorgensen is expected to decide in the autumn, while weighing potential economic losses and security of supply concerns against climate benefits.
“It is a complex balancing act and if Denmark is to take international climate leadership, then we must show that the green transition can go hand in hand with financial responsibility,” he said.
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