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 March 26, 2012
Denmark overhauls green targets and commits to 50 per cent wind power

 The Danish government has stepped up its green energy and carbon reduction targets for 2020, hailing the plan as the "broadest, greenest, and most long-term energy agreement" it has ever reached.

Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Martin Lidegaard confirmed on Friday that parliament had agreed a new set of goals designed to wean the country off oil and gas.

The deal aims to see Denmark cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 34 per cent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels and decrease energy consumption by more than 12 per cent compared to 2006.

It also aims to supply 35 per cent of its total energy from renewables, with half of its electricity delivered by wind farms.

The agreement also covers advances in renewable heat, smart grids, and biogas among other green technologies.

"Denmark will once again be the global leader in the transition to green energy," said Lidegaard. "This will prepare us for a future with increasing prices for oil and coal. Moreover, it will create some of the jobs that we need so desperately, now and in the coming years."

The agreement will help Denmark achieve its goal of supplying 100 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2050, including electricity, heating, industry and transport.

Lidegaard added that the commitments would prevent consumer energy bills from soaring, by reducing the country's dependence on the volatile price of fossil fuels.

The commitment could also provide a boost to efforts across the European Union to increase its carbon emissions reduction target to 30 per cent from the current 20 per cent.

Earlier this month, Poland was the only state to vote against the shift, arguing the EU should wait for other countries to take similar measures first.