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16 January 2015

2014 revealed to be an outstanding year for wind power in Denmark

A staggering 39.1 percent of Denmark’s 2014 energy consumption was wind-generated, according to the Danish Climate and Energy Ministry. In January 2014, 61.4 percent of Danish electricity consumption was sourced from wind. "These are incredible figures," said Climate and Energy Minister Rasmus Helveg Petersen. "We still plan to put up more wind turbines. We are moving forward and we have more targets".

Having doubled its wind power generation in the last decade, Denmark is now considered the world leader in wind-based power usage; in fact, one exceptionally windy day in November 2013 saw the nation actually surpass 100 percent wind power, meaning the power generated exceeded consumption. Denmark affirms to be home to 90 percent of the world's offshore wind turbines and sees itself as having "found the key to stop global warming" according to Petersen.

The Danish government allocates around €135 million to wind power research and development and other improved energy technologies annually, while wind-power generation contributes to the export earnings of the Danish economy. The nation is also set to reach its target of 50 percent power from clean energy sources by 2020, and to be entirely fossil fuel-free by 2050.

For more information, visit the official website of Denmark.

14 January 2015

Climate change recognised as global human rights issue

With the devastating effects of climate change apparent globally, mitigating the destructive phenomenon is increasingly being viewed as a global human rights issue. According to the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate change is set to cause “severe, pervasive and irreversible” damage on the world’s people, cultures, ecosystems and economies. With the overwhelming proportion of negative fallout from changing weather patterns adversely affecting the world’s less industrialised nations, many human rights advocates including Oxfam are arguing that countries with the capacity to tackle climate change have the responsibility to do so.

Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson has strongly argued that climate change is a human rights and development issue, asserting that the nations most responsible must initiate progressive change in their domestic climate actions and show support for vulnerable countries. Ms. Robinson wrote: “The human cost of global warming has a name: climate injustice. The remedy, then, is climate justice. Climate justice is not just the recognition that climate change is a matter of human rights and development; it also involves recognising that the victims of global warming are not responsible for it, nor can their actions alone halt it”.

Data obtained from the Germanwatch Global Climate Risk Index supports Robinson’s rationale by indicating that eight of the 10 most affected countries in the period 1993 – 2012 were developing nations in the low-income or lower-middle income country group. These issues have prompted the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to adapt “much of its environment-related planning and work to address the effects of climate change.”

For more information, read the full Mary Robinson blog post on The Guardian website.


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