In a landmark move to address the issue of climate change and shift away from fossil fuels, Denmark has announced that it will end all new oil and gas explorations in the North Sea with immediate effect. This is part of a wider initiative by the nation to stop extracting fossil fuels by 2050.
Denmark is currently the largest oil producer in the entire European Union: it pumped a massive 103,000 barrels every day in 2019.
“We’re the European Union’s biggest oil producer and this decision will therefore resonate around the world,” Danish climate minister Dan Jorgensen said.
“We want to be climate neutral in 2050. And if we are to have any credibility in that, then this is a necessary decision,” said Jorgensen.
He also said that the decision was tough but also the right thing to do.
According to the estimates by the energy department, this move will cost Denmark a whopping 13 billion kroner ($2.1 billion).
Denmark first began oil and gas exploration in 1972, and the revenues it earned from the explorations in the North Sea helped it become one of the richest nations in Europe. However, in the last few years, it has emphasized on the need to move away from fossil fuels and focus on a greener and cleaner energy.
This decision was applauded by environmental activists and organizations across the world.
Helene Hagel from Greenpeace Denmark described this green initiative as “a watershed moment” that will allow the nation to “assert itself as a green frontrunner and inspire other countries to end our dependence on climate-wrecking fossil fuels.”
Denmark is the second nation in Europe after France to prohibit new oil and gas exploration. However, it is noteworthy that the nation is the first major fossil fuel producer to do so.
In the recent past, the nation has also set some steep environmental targets for itself: it aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 70% by 2030, as well as reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Don’t you think this is a laudable step from Denmark? Shouldn’t other nations follow suit? Let us know your views in the comments section below.