A Classic Case of a Green Spiral
The first of a set of cases, this examination of the history of Danish energy policy shows that a classic green spiral effect has led over time to the decoupling of emissions and economic growth. This spiral begins with Denmark’s response to the oil crisis of the 1970s, which led to energy security policies that shifted commercial and industrial infrastructure toward high energy efficiency, developed a thriving wind energy industry, and encouraged a broad grass-roots constituency that benefited from wind generation. These shifts in interest fed back into policymaking. Ultimately, policy-industry feedback over time has led to a paradigmatic shift in Denmark’s energy industry and policy. Denmark’s energy industry now sees its own interests as invested in, not threatened by, green policy. For example, DONG Energy is pulling back from investment in coal power and expects to derive future growth from low-carbon investments and green regulation.
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