Denmark seeks to operate 'green' domestic flights by 2030

Move is expected to help the country to achieve one of the world's most ambitious climate targets

Scandinavian Airlines planes at an airport in Copenhagen. The Danish government wants to drop fossil fuels in domestic air travel by 2030 as part of efforts to meet its climate targets. AFP
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Denmark has set a target to operate "green" flights on domestic routes by 2030 as part of efforts to meet its climate goals and as the aviation sector comes under more pressure to become more environment-friendly.

The Nordic country plans to have the first green flights start by 2025, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in her annual new year's address. It will completely forgo domestic flights powered by fossil fuels by 2030.

"To travel is to live, and that is why we fly. But, at the same time, it is harmful to our climate," Ms Frederiksen said. "Imagine if Denmark could help solve that problem. We need to make flying green."

The move is part of a number of measures that are expected to help Denmark to achieve one of the world's most ambitious climate targets.

The country intends to reduce overall emissions by 70 per cent by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, and also achieve climate neutrality by 2050, according to its global climate action strategy called "A green and sustainable world".

"The government will set an ambitious goal: by 2025, Danes must have the opportunity to fly green on a domestic route. And by 2030, at the latest, we must be able to fly completely green when we fly domestically in Denmark," Ms Frederiksen said in the televised address.

She acknowledged the difficulties in reaching the ambitious target but noted that the scientific research is under way.

"Will it be difficult? Yes. Is it possible? Yes, I think so. We are already on our way," Ms Frederiksen said.

"Skilled researchers and companies are working on the solutions. If we succeed, then it will be a green breakthrough. Not just for Denmark but for the whole world."

Other European countries are also taking measures to reduce their aviation industry's carbon footprint.

Sweden, where the flight-shaming movement began in 2018, plans to make its domestic flights fossil fuel-free by 2030 and its international flights green by 2045. It also intends to charge airlines more at take-off and landing for using aircraft with high emissions.

Authorities in France plan to ban domestic flights in cases where the same journey could be made by train in less than two and a half hours.

Updated: January 02, 2022, 9:22 AM
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