Denmark's climate goals: Center Denmark in a major agreement to map municipalities' CO2 accounts

08. Sep. 2021

The energy and CO2 accounts keep track of municipal Denmark's CO emissions. Today, about 60 municipalities are part of the scheme - but new efforts aim to increase the number.
Denmark's climate goals: Center Denmark in a major agreement to map municipalities' CO2 accounts

In order to be better able to work across climate strategies and plans, municipalities and regions need to have a common, national tool that can generate energy and greenhouse gas accounts based on the same methods.
That tool already exists today under the name Energy and CO2 Accounts. It is owned by the Danish Energy Agency, and primarily financed by the municipalities with contributions from Realdania. But it does not fulfill all the wishes that the municipalities have for it:
“The energy and CO 2 accounts have developed incredibly much over the past few years, as the growth in members also testifies. Now is the time to take the accounts a little further. With this project, RealDania, together with the regions and KL, will uncover what improvements are needed to attract the rest of the country's municipalities to the platform, ”says Pelle Lind Bournonville, project manager at Realdania.
The challenge is that not all municipalities use the Energy and CO2 accounts. Today, 60 municipalities are included in the scheme, while the rest, for various reasons, use other methods to calculate their climate accounts.
That needs to be looked at more closely now.
The national meeting point for digitization and green conversion, Center Denmark, has been tasked with establishing a secretariat that aims to collect and analyze information on inventory practices in the municipalities that are not part of the scheme today.
“We need to find out why the remaining municipalities are not involved today and what we can do so that we can gather our efforts in one place. If the municipalities and regions use the same method in the municipalities, it will be easier to compare and find inspiration for the benefit of us all, ”says senior project manager and head of the secretariat, Søren Bernt Lindegaard.
The Danish Energy Agency's energy and CO2 accounts are based on the Energy Agreement in 2012, and are a further development of the municipal CO2 calculator, which was established in 2008.
With a greater focus on green conversion and more initiatives to be included in the pool, there is a need to further equip, says one of the initiators of the collaboration, Region of Southern Denmark, on behalf of the regions:
“There is a great deal of commitment in the climate area in both regions and municipalities - not least in the DK2020 project, and we need to use that to look at how we calculate the loads with greenhouse gases. The municipalities need access to valid data in order to prioritize which climate initiatives they should initiate. Therefore, the regions want to contribute to the development of the national tool that calculates the loads of greenhouse gases. The hope is that all the country's municipalities will adopt the Greenhouse Gas Accounts, ”says Jørgen Bjelskou, Executive Vice President of the Region of Southern Denmark.

The temporary secretariat will be established on top of Center Denmark's existing data platform, which will use production and consumption data from electricity, water, heat and gas as close to real time as possible. The idea is that the centre's existing expertise in data processing can strengthen the data base of the accounts.
At the municipalities' industry organization, KL, there is enthusiasm for the collaboration:
“Our hope is that Center Denmark will have a thorough coverage of the municipal needs and wishes for a joint account, and will also listen attentively to the municipalities that currently use other CO2 accounts. It must target the necessary further development of the Energy and CO2 accounts on the way to the goal that it will be the preferred and common measuring tool for the municipalities' climate efforts, ”says Laila Kildesgaard, director of KL.
The next step in the project is to send a development plan for the tool for consultation with a view to making qualified recommendations for further development of the Energy and CO2 accounts on the basis of the mapping in collaboration with the municipalities that currently use other methods for CO2 accounting.