Danish Government Slammed for ‘Cheating’ Allies on Climate Goals

(Bloomberg) — Denmark’s government risks losing a key ally in parliament after a long-awaited proposal laying out how it will slash carbon emissions fell far short of expectations within its ruling bloc.

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On Friday, the leader of one of the parties the government relies on to stay in power threatened to withdraw support if the current climate proposal isn’t improved, according to Weekendavisen.

Morten Ostergaard, who heads the Social Liberals, said he feels “cheated” by the Social Democrats. Ostergaard went so far as to say that the government’s climate program is a “declaration of war” against the parties that helped it win election based on a platform of green promises, the newspaper writes.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s government this week unveiled a detailed plan mapping out how it intends to reach a goal of cutting carbon emissions by 70% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. But she and her administration backtracked on earlier promises to use taxes as a key disincentive for polluters. Instead, Frederiksen now says innovation and technology will drive emissions cuts, in an effort to appease low-income voters.

What’s more, some of the government’s proposals have raised eyebrows as they appear to discourage climate friendly behavior. That includes raising taxes on some electric vehicles.

The proposals have drawn criticism not only from lawmakers within Frederiksen’s ruling bloc, but also from the independent chairman of the government-appointed panel tasked with providing guidelines for the climate plan.

It’s now “uncertain” whether Denmark can achieve its 2030 climate goals, Peter Molgaard, chairman of the panel, told state broadcaster DR.

The expert panel says Denmark’s 2030 goals can only be reached if the government also introduces financial incentives to curb emissions.

But Energy Minister Dan Jorgensen insists Denmark is “on the right track.”

The government’s current climate proposal estimates the economic cost of cutting emissions will reach up to $3.8 billion through 2030.

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