Denmark pledges ‘green’ domestic flights by 2030

Action now needs to match the words.

Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

The prime minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, is pledging that the European nation’s domestic flights would be “green” by 2030. As part of her New Year’s Address, she said that (translated) “by 2025, Danes must have the opportunity to fly green on a domestic route.” She added that “by 2030 at the latest, we must be able to fly completely green when we fly domestically in Denmark.” It was part of a broader commitment by the leader to toughen measures against polluters and to jump-start the country’s green transition.

There are, however, reasons to be concerned that such an ambitious deadline can be reached, given the lack of ready alternatives. Electric planes may never succeed, and hydrogen flying, while much more promising, is nowhere near ready to be rolled out to a major airline’s fleet. Not to mention, of course, that only hydrogen produced as a result of electrolysis, powered by excess renewable energy, can be called truly “green.” EnergiWatch has said that Denmark’s standing policy of waiting for magic bullet technologies to come to fruition is not going to help it reach its international commitments on climate emissions.

That said, Denmark has made more steps than some countries to help make the transition toward zero-carbon technologies. The country has already issued a hard deadline to end oil and gas exploration and is a big player in the wind power industry. At the start of 2021, it committed to build an artificial island which could collect and store power from Denmark’s wind farms, enough to supply 10GW. At the same time, the country hopes that any excess wind power can be used to drive an electrolyzer, helping it develop a nice sideline as a producer of guilt-free Hydrogen.