COPENHAGEN (AFP) — The city of Copenhagen, which will host a UN climate conference in December, aims to become the world's first carbon neutral capital in 2025, city officials said on Thursday.
Copenhagen aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2015 and be carbon neutral by 2025 by increasing the use of renewable energies.
"It's an ambitious plan, but we want to accomplish our goal in order to help stop global warming by significantly reducing CO2 emissions," the deputy mayor in charge of environmental issues, Klaus Bondam, told AFP.
Since it is nearly impossible to eliminate all CO2 emissions, being carbon neutral means that the city can offset its emissions by investing in Kyoto Protocol-style projects that reduce pollution elsewhere.
Urging Copenhagen residents, businesses and energy suppliers to cooperate with the municipality in the fight for a "green capital", Bondam said the 2025 date was realistic.
"We know that there is a cost, but we are ready to pay it because this is an investment in the future," he said, adding that the city's residents were well-positioned to reach the goal.
They "increasingly choose environmentally-friendly solutions, such as riding their bikes or the bus instead of taking the car," he said.
"Today, about 40 percent of Copenhagen residents ride their bikes to work, and they emit less carbon dioxide than residents in the rest of the country," he said.
The city's action plan comprises 50 concrete initiatives, including plans for the capital's electricity to come from wind power and for its cars to run on electricity or hydrogen.
The city council is scheduled to vote on the plan this summer.
Neighbouring Norway and Sweden have previously announced ambitious plans for their entire countries to be carbon neutral in 2030 and 2050 respectively.
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