Surpassing the 2015 climate goals

The newest figures show that Sonderborg has surpassed the previously set goal of 25 percent reduction of CO2 by 2015, reaching 30 percent already at the end of 2014.

A staggering 30 percent reduction of CO2 emissions in 2014 has been achieved in the Sonderborg-area, well ahead of time of the initial goal to reduce emissions with 25 percent in 2015.

- I am extremely pleased with the broad support for the Sønderborg area's Project Zero. Without the efforts of so many of the local businesses and citizens, we could not have delivered such a fantastic result, says Mayor Erik Lauritzen.

Strong support for ProjectZero-Project

The strong commitment from local citizens has proven crucial to the current success. Citizens tend to cycle more instead of just starting the car. Rather than just using the water, power and heating, citizens invest in their houses to make them more sustainable. Companies invest to reduce CO2 emissions and develop green sustainable solutions. The municipal district heating companies has spent considerable resources to provide citizens with green discrict heating solutions.

New surveys conducted amongst citizens in Sonderborg show a broad knowledge and strong commitment for creating a CO2-neutral Sonderborg by 2029.

As a climate and energy front-runner, Sonderborg is attractive as a destination for those who want to be inspired and learn how to use a more climate neutral and sustainable approach in city planning. 
That is why the ProjectZero vision is included in Sonderborg's overall growth plan to attract more business tourism. The Green effort is to create several jobs and more growth in the area.

- The considerable efforts will definitely make a difference in the work of realizing the council's strategy to create more growth by attracting visitors who want to learn more about how we work towards having zero CO2 emissions in Sonderborg, says Mayor Erik Lauritzen.

Green visions are creating growth and jobs

Sonderborg's green vision has echoed abroad, not only did Sonderborg receive the EU energy price in 2010, but the municipality is also working to raise awareness of the Danish energy solutions that have been proven effective in the Sonderborg-area. Sonderborg are working closely together with the Chinese city of Haiyan, sharing their knowledge and solutions based on succesful scenarios proven in Sonderborg.

The combined effort in Sonderborg has already created 800 new green jobs and according to the local business community, the ProjectZero vision, which was passed by the city council in 2007, is also good for business.

Sonderborgs ProjectZero continue to inspire cities abroad by showing that green district heating is part of the solution, if you want to make an effort for the climate. Such demonstratoriums are important to publicize the type of green energy solutions, says Lars Tveen, Director of Danfoss Heating. He has, amongst others, the responsibility for the part of Danfoss Heating which supply discrict heating systems globally.

– Sonderborg's conversion to green energy solutions is also to inspire other cities and companies. And doing that, ProjectZero has helped opening the doors for us and other companies to new customers around the world. It creates jobs and growth in the municipality, both now and in the future, says Torben Esbensen from Danish Energy Management & Esbensen.

Sonderborgs message to COP21: It's do-able

World leaders are meeting at the UN COP21 climate summit in Paris, December 2015 where Sonderborg's conversion already has inspired many cities, and the results show that the cities can play an even greater role in fighting global warming, efficiently. As the former Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, stated: "Cities act, while nations talk".

Sonderborg's new climate target is a 50 percent CO2-reduction by 2020, and with the 30 percent achived the Sonderborg area is well on their way to reach the next milestone.

1. September 2015

Reduction of CO2 emissions

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Peter Rathje