OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Denmark 2019

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Denmark's energy and carbon intensities are among the lowest in the OECD area. Green taxation as a share of GDP is the highest in the OECD, and the country is a leader in eco-innovation. Denmark has also achieved impressive results in the material recovery of most waste streams and reached a political agreement to move to a circular economy. It is an international standard setter for chemical risk assessment. However, municipal waste generation remains the highest in the OECD area. Many bodies of water do not reach good ecological status. Levels of exposure to fine particles remain above international standards. Terrestrial biodiversity suffers from the lack of well-connected protected areas. Further steps will need to be taken to achieve the stated goal of a climate neutral economy by 2050.

This is the third Environmental Performance Review of Denmark. It evaluates progress towards sustainable development and green growth, with special features on waste, materials management and the circular economy and chemicals management.

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Executive summary

Denmark outperforms the OECD average for most of the Sustainable Development Goals. It has decoupled its greenhouse gas (GHG) and major air pollutant emissions from economic activity. Denmark ranks among the OECD countries with the lowest energy intensity, thanks to a proactive energy efficiency policy. It has experienced a boom in renewable energy resources over the last decade, with renewables rising from 15% to 35% of total primary energy supply, driven by strong political will and public acceptability. Denmark has become a world leader in wind energy technology thanks to the significant and growing support of electricity consumers (via the electricity bill). It is now committed to increasing the share of renewables in gross final energy consumption from 30% in 2020 to 55% by 2030.


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