The global aviation sector is known to be an industry highly reliant on fossil fuels, but Denmark plans to change the game by swapping out petroleum-based fuels for more sustainable fueling options by 2030.
At the start of the year, the Danish government reiterated its climate target with a vow to stop using fossil fuels for domestic air travel within the current decade. Indeed, it expects its first green-fueled domestic flights to take to the skies as early as 2025.
During her address to the nation last January first, Prime Minister Metter Frederiksen stated that “to travel is to live, therefore we fly,” alluding to Denmark’s position as one of the most visited countries in the world prior to the pandemic and the Danes’ own penchant for traveling across the globe. However, Frederiksen went on to say that flying needs to become a greener endeavor, seeing how jet emissions have contributed significantly to climate damage.
For now, it’s domestic
It is interesting to note that Frederiksen’s current policy pertains to domestic flights plying routes within the country as opposed to those heading overseas, particularly to neighboring Sweden, Norway, and Finland.
As of March 13, 2020, the country has kept its borders closed to regional tourists and to foreign business travelers in order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus – a policy which has not been rescinded as of the start of this year due to surges in cases involving the disease’s highly transmissible Omicron variant.
While Danish nationals will be allowed to travel in, the country will continue to deny entry to those who cannot prove that they have a valid reason for coming to Denmark.
More stringent policies
While Frederiksen herself admits that the necessary technology for this fuel swap has yet to be put in place, this push towards the use of green power for aviation is the most recent addition to Denmark’s policies regarding the mitigation of climate change within its borders.
Recognized as a nation with some of the most ambitious climate targets, Denmark aims to reduce its overall carbon emissions by 70% by 2039, a significant reduction compared to carbon levels in the ’90s.
The Danish government recently made a proposal for boosting investments in the green hydrogen sector – a move that is seen as a step in the right direction for more sustainability in the power and aviation industries.
The Prime Minister also stated that there would be a more streamlined tax on emissions for the business sector; the move is meant to ensure that companies with the highest level of toxic emissions will pay higher taxes.