By Anders Østervang, First Secretary, Economic Affairs, Danish Embassy

As the world’s population grows and emerging economies expand rapidly, global demand and competition for energy are set to intensify in the decades to come. This will likely drive up prices of the world’s finite oil and other fossil fuel resources, which are concentrated largely in a handful of politically unstable countries. The International Energy Agency projects that global energy demand will increase 34 percent by 2035.

In Denmark, we have decided that we do not want to be in that energy race. We want to insulate ourselves from future peaks in energy prices and disruptions in supply, and to invest our money in green, long-term, sustainable sources of energy. Our government has announced its ambition that Denmark should become fully independent of fossil fuels by 2050, and instead meet its energy needs with renewable energy. A detailed, comprehensive strategy for how to get there, “Energy Strategy 2050”, was launched a few months ago—the first of its kind in the world.

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denmark, embassy series, energy efficiency, green economy, oil, oil dependence, renewable energy

By Hans Kordik, Counselor for Agriculture and Environment, Austrian Embassy

The call for energy independence has been on the political agenda across the globe for many decades. While most countries share a growing energy demand, their reasons for looking to reduce energy dependency as well as their chosen strategies vary significantly.

In the U.S., the desire for energy independence had already emerged during the oil embargo of the early 70’s. Most of the State of the Union addresses since have elaborated on this objective. Just in the last Congress, the advocates of climate legislation defended their proposals not so much as mitigating emissions, but rather as finding a solution to the challenge of energy dependency. Even though all sides talk of energy independence as a worthy goal, since the early 70’s, the share of imported oil has nearly doubled in the United States.

Just like the U.S., Austria depends on energy imports in the form of fossil energy, primarily oil and natural gas. But Austria has been working hard to reduce its dependency. Nowhere is this effort, and its benefits, more evident than in the region of Güssing,

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Austria, biomass, embassy series, energy efficiency, energy security, green jobs, Gussing, municipal solid waste, renewable energy