Mayors Voices: Copenhagen Lord Mayor Frank Jensen on Driving Green Growth in Cities

In Copenhagen, we aim to achieve carbon neutral status in 2025 – becoming the first major global city to do so. However, we want to link efforts to reduce the impact of global warming with economic growth and job creation. Our main focus has been on creating a clean, green city with high standards of living. We want a city where people can enjoy living and working without harming the planet – we strongly believe this vision is possible and even more so when cities work collaboratively with each other and the private sector.

To this end, Copenhagen was once again proud to host the C40 Green Growth Network Workshop, alongside the annual Global Green Growth Forum (3GF). The C40 workshop brought together 10 global cities* to share experiences, best practices and help solve challenges on the central green growth topics of Working with the Private Sector and Making the Political Case for green actions.

One of the most important acknowledgements at the workshop was the fact that cities can’t build strong and successful green economies on their own. Rather, they need close cooperation with the business sector in developing new green solutions and implementing smart and green infrastructure. Cities can initiate green clusters creating networks between private and public stakeholders as well as researchers in their regions, develop living labs for new green technologies and help sustainable businesses to grow and develop with certainty by committing to the green agenda.


Lord Mayor Frank Jensen and the C40 Green Growth Network

The City of Copenhagen has a close cooperation with the Danish Cleantech Cluster (CLEAN), a platform for 170 Danish and international cleantech businesses to cooperate and develop new solutions; and we were instrumental in establishing the Danish Cleantech Hub in New York, a single point of entry for all cleantech related activities between Denmark and New York. The Danish Cleantech Hub, coupled with the Copenhagen House of Green showcase in New York, will make it easier for Danish companies to win public and private contracts as the city makes significant investments in climate adaptation and sustainable development. I am convinced that a closer cleantech partnership will benefit both New York and Copenhagen. 

Partnerships like these are not only important for cities and for knowledge sharing. It is of great importance for our companies as well. In this case, Karsten Dybvad, CEO, Confederation of Danish Industry, which is behind the opening of the Danish Cleantech Hub in New York, has expressed his enthusiasm with  the opening of The Danish Cleantech Hub in New York City. He said, “The collaboration between Copenhagen and the city of New York have played a crucial role in strengthening Danish companies’ relationship to strategic stakeholders in New York City.”

City-to-city cooperation thus holds a lot of potential for more commercial cooperation too. Different cities have different strengths, and we can achieve more when we take advantage of these differences. I am looking forward to continued cooperation through the C40 Green Growth Network, and seeing the successes that will continue to emerge as a result. The need for collective progress is more urgent than ever before.


Lord Mayor Frank Jensen, The Danish Crown Prince, Karsten Dybvad CEO Confederation of Danish Industry   and others at the opening of the Danish Cleantech Hub in New York

In October, Copenhagen hosted the 40th session of the IPCC - the UN Panel on Climate Change. The session focused on the 2014 Fifth Assessment Report, which demonstrates how serious the threat of climate change is, and shows that we have no time to waste. I hope the report will lead to a binding agreement between our national leaders later this year in Paris at the COP 21. As Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, I will do all I can to make this possible.

 

To read more about the C40 Green Growth Network, click here.

* Addis Ababa, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, New York, Oslo, Portland, Singapore, Stockholm and Sydney.