News | GRC Study Tour Dispatches | 06.17.16

GRC Study Tour Dispatch: Denmark, Energy Past and Present

As we approach for our landing at the Copenhagen airport on the third leg of the GRC Climate Study Tour, we see in the harbor the past and the future.  In the background is the old way of doing business, a way that allowed much of the world to thrive economically, but has brought with it threats to human health, global security, ecological stability and economic strength and equity.  Refineries, oil tanks, and fossil fuel electricity plants dot the shore, technologies emblematic of the past.

In the foreground stand a row of twenty turbines spinning in the wind, providing clean renewable energy.   Built by the city of Copenhagen, it requires no coal or natural gas or petroleum to be shipped from elsewhere to produce electrons.   Unlike the technologies behind it, it produces no SO2 no NOx no CO2 .

But is this really the future? No.  It represents the opportunities of the present, of the here and now.  It represents clean energy jobs today.  It means cleaner air today.  It means reducing greenhouse gas emissions today in order to slow the inevitable impacts of climate change.  It was built 15 years ago!

David Cash,  Dean of McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts, Boston

For more about the GRC’s European Climate Innovations Study Tour, visit

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