Green (and not only) reasons why Denmark is the planet’s green leader

The quality of the place of your residence is defined by many characteristics, which include natural and man-made factors, and more or less obvious consequences of those. The thing is if you care about the food you’re eating, the air you’re breathing and the water you’re drinking, Denmark is the place to be at the moment. Also, renewable energy and fuels are ensuring the quality of your life can only be altered by yourself, and not by outside factors. But it’s not all fun and games for them, and Danish are by no means living in a renewable energy paradise; actually it’s a very difficult and important period for the country, as switching from carbon age energy to wind turbines is hard for everybody.

“We are losing ground,” said Anne Grete Holmsgaard, the energy spokeswoman for the opposition Socialist People’s Party in Denmark. “It’s terrible, actually, that we’re not that green as we should be.”

But still, the fact remains that they are the green leader of our planet, especially if you consider certain facts.

Renewable energy is perhaps their biggest advantage, as significant parts of western Denmark generate virtually all of their energy from the wind. Still, the important quantity if imported coal remains an issue, but the progress they made is truly above any country in the world. Also, their energy independence is starting to pay off, financial as well as environmental, and this is easy to see looking at their energy exports, which have tripled in the past decade.

Organic food and beverages are another thing worth admiring; surprisingly few people are actualy interested in what they eat (eat, as in put inside you), just take a look at fast food and genetically enhanced plants and animals that we eat. More and more supermarkets, bars and restaurants have started to sell green organic food; this is healthier, better for the environment and, surprisingly or not, cheaper in many cases. Another thing that stands out when thinking about this country is the fact that a half of all people use bicycles as their primary form of transportation. Don’t know about you, but that seems to be a mind set out for health to me.

New York Times’ Thomas L. Friedman cites Connie Hedegaard, Denmark’s minister of climate and energy.

“There is little whining here about Denmark having $10-a-gallon gasoline because of high energy taxes. The shaping of the market with high energy standards and taxes on fossil fuels by the Danish government has actually had ‘a positive impact on job creation,’ added Hedegaard. ‘For example, the wind industry — it was nothing in the 1970s. Today, one-third of all terrestrial wind turbines in the world come from Denmark.’ In the last 10 years, Denmark’s exports of energy efficiency products have tripled. Energy technology exports rose 8 percent in 2007 to more than $10.5 billion in 2006, compared with a 2 percent rise in 2007 for Danish exports as a whole.

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