Economic and Social Benefits

By 2025, Copenhagen will be the first capital city in the world to become carbon neutral. To achieve this ambitious goal, the city has adopted a comprehensive and targeted carbon reduction Master Plan[1], which is organized around four pillars:

15. Inclusive Public Space

15. Inclusive Public Space

  1. Energy consumption
  2. Energy production
  3. Mobility
  4. City administration.

Wind farms, citywide efficient heating systems, energy efficiency, and the development of public transportation networks and bike routes are some of the initiatives in the works to bring Copenhagen closer to its carbon-neutral goal.The strategic urban planning, which has designed the sustainable solutions mentioned above, has allowed Copenhagen to improve it’s residents quality life, while at the same time reducing car usage and CO2 emissions.

14. Inclusive Public Space

14. Inclusive Public Space

It has created large recreational areas, pedestrian streets, clean water in the harbor, and world-class integrated public transport. The next table shows the specific social benefits of each sustainable solution in Copenhagen, and their strong relation with people:

Sustainable Solutions


Social Benefits

Economic Benefits

Cycling & Transportation System

• Faster, safer, healthier and less stressful journeys.• Reduced noise, air pollution and CO2 emissions.• Short journey times and less congestion, which increase economic productivity. • Health expenses saved by cycling, 230 million per year.• Low-cost form of infrastructure.• Cycling provides a low-cost form of transport. 0.16 euro Net social gain for every km travelled by bike instead of car.
The Harbors  • People can swim, sail and fish in the harbor waters.• Almost every resident now lives less than 10 minutes by foot to a green or blue recreational space or park.• The harbor baths has given residents a sense of pride, loyalty and ownership in the local area. • The revitalization of the harbor areas has led to business and market regeneration.• Improved potential for investment: there are now plans for much improved local transport to the Harbor Bath• More families stay in the city contributing to a positive economic growth.
Wind Energy  • Community commitment to the achievement of climate change objectives.• Creation of new jobs  • Green Economy – through creating strong local demand, the Danish wind turbine industry has grown into a multibillion euro industry with over 350 companies producing turbine towers, blades, generators, gear boxes and control systems. 
Waste  • The public perceives waste as a resource• Reuse of waste creates more jobs than landfill and incineration.  • Waste sent to recycling instead of landfill avoids millions of euros in landfill taxes which can instead be used to develop the Green Economy 
District Heating System  • Jobs created.• Municipal and consumer ownership of the district heating grid infrastructure and the Danish Heat Supply Act ensure that all economic benefits of district heating is returned to the consumers. • With high fuel efficiencies of up to 94% by simultaneously generating heat and power, the power plants need much less fuel per kWh generated. In comparison, conventional power plants have an efficiency of around 40%.


A Greener and Better Everyday Life 2012-2015

The green growth in Copenhagen must be the basis for improving the quality of life and enhancing the urban living of their citizens. In order to achieve the climate and environmental goals of Copenhagen, the city knows that citizen involvement is imperative. Roughly, one third of the potential CO2 reductions by 2025 will come from initiatives where citizens have direct or indirect influence on whether the goal of a carbon neutral Copenhagen will be met. This includes: green mobility, energy-saving measures and more recycling[2]. Therefore, the activities of this Plan are grouped into five themes: at home, resources, urban spaces, transport and an interdisciplinary theme including innovation and education.

16. Summary of activities

16. Summary of activities

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[1] A Greener and Better Everyday Life 2012-2015

[2]Copenhagen Carbon Neutral by 2025, Copenhagen Climate Adaptation Plan, 2011

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