Denmark climate goal too reliant on unproven tech, govt council says

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the DanTysk wind farm, 90 kilometres west of Esbjerg, Denmark, September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Nikolaj Skydsgaard

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark risks not reaching its ambitious goal to cut carbon emissions by 70% by 2030 because it is too reliant on unproven technology, an independent council monitoring the effort said on Friday.

The Nordic country in 2020 set one of the most ambitious and legally binding climate targets in the world - cutting CO2 emissions 70% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, but its government has yet to come up with a detailed plan for how to achieve that target.

With the government's current initiatives, Denmark is on course to reduce emissions by 7.2 million tonnes in 2030, much below the intended 20 million tonnes, an independent council set up to monitor progress said in a report.

The government said in September that 9-16.5 million tonnes could be cut by using new technologies such as carbon capture storage and using wind turbines to power hydrogen plants, to be used by heavy industry, shipping and air travel.

But progress on these technologies has "not reached a sufficiently high level" to reach the 2030 goal, with two-thirds of advances in these technologies having a "high risk" of not being developed in time to reduce emissions sufficiently, the council said.

"(Our) overall assessment is that the government's climate plan does not clarify how the 70%-target can be reached," the report said.

(Reporting by Tim Barsoe, Editing by William Maclean)

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