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Denmark takes up a leading position at UN Climate Action Summit 2019

16.09.2019  15:31
As co-lead of one of the nine tracks at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit the 23rd of September 2019, Denmark has taken the responsibility for developing and presenting concrete and scalable solution that will secure green transition within the energy sector. The Danish leadership is undertaken in close cooperation with Ethiopia and the organization Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll).


Getting the global green transition accelerated is acute, if the world is to reach the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement. In the beginning of September last year, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, underscored that “climate change is the defining issue of our time – and we are at a defining moment”. If we act with urgency and resolution, there is still time to reduce Ghg-emissions in the course of the next 12 years and thereby keep the global average temperature below the 1.5ºC limit. Despite the strong progress made with the adoption of the Paris Agreement, it needs to be followed up with action, leadership and ambition. Both emerging economies developed and developing countries need to implement extensive transitions if we are to make it. Especially the poorest and most vulnerable countries need cooperation and experience sharing in order for the green transition to be accompanied by economic and social sustainable development. This was the reason why Guterres announced the international Climate Action Summit, which takes place in connection to the yearly opening of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) this September.

The purpose of the Climate Action Summit is to raise the bar for ambitions of the UN member states, to present concrete initiatives to ensure climate action and to create political momentum to increase ambitions and commitments in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the Paris Agreement. The UN member states cannot however secure this transition on their own – tackling climate change requires cooperation between multilateral development banks, private companies, investors and civil society, all of which are invited to the Summit.

Following the announcement of the Summit, the UN Secretary General asked a series of member states to take leadership of one of the nine thematic action tracks. In this context, Guterres asked Denmark to take lead of the energy transition track to boost the transition of the energy sector, including acceleration of the transition to sustainable energy, improved energy efficiency, universalized energy access and mobilization of investments in the energy sector. It is a great recognition of our global climate engagement, development cooperation and our leading position in the green transition. Denmark leads the energy transition track towards the Climate Action Summit alongside Ethiopia and the organization Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll). With Sustainable Development Goal 7 on universal access to sustainable, affordable and modern energy as our starting point, Denmark focuses on sharing lessons learned and concrete solutions as well as creating and strengthening partnerships on sustainable energy, energy efficiency, energy access and sustainable development.

The Danish involvement in the Summit builds on our experiences from last year’s successful summit “Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals 2030” (P4G), which was held in Copenhagen. It also builds on Denmark’s long-standing experience with development cooperation, where especially the efforts to support emerging economies as well as the most vulnerable and poor countries in their transition and extention/enlargement/scaling up of the energy sector has been a key topic – to benefit both the climate and the development of countries.


  • The nine tracks at the Climate Action Summit is composed of six thematic tracks (1-6) and three cross-cutting tracks (7-9): 1) Energy transition, 2) Infrastructure, cities and local action, 3) Industry transition, 4) Resilience and adaptation, 5) Nature-based solutions, 6) Climate finance and carbon pricing, 7) Mitigation strategy, 8) Social and political drivers and 9) Youth and mobilization.
  • Denmark has been appointed to lead the Energy transition track at the Climate Action Summit in New York the 23rd of September 2019.
  • The nationally determined contributions was formally decided on in the Paris Agreement, and they entails that UN member states report their goals for climate action and emission targets themselves, which they are hereafter obliged to comply with.
  • Energy comprises approx. 80% of the global CO2-emmissions globally. This is why global green transition of the energy sector is necessary to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Through the Danish Investment Coalition for Clean Energy, Denmark works towards securing better framework conditions for investments in clean energy, which is essential to ensure the green transition.
  • P4G is a global action oriented initiative, which focuses on accelerating the green transition and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in development countries and emerging economy countries by gathering the private and public sector as well as civil society in concrete public-private partnerships focused on finding solutions, which are scalable and can enable systemic changes.