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Thank you to the organisers.
His Excellency Prime Minister Modi.
His Excellency President Kagame.
His Excellency Minister of External Affairs Jaishankar.
And to the Observer Research Foundation.
Thank you all for hosting this very important event.
I am grateful for having the opportunity to speak to you today.
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world,” Gandhi once said.
The world has, indeed, been shaken the past year. Unfortunately not very gently.
We live in the time of a global pandemic. We also live in the time of another global challenge: Climate change.
A crisis more far-reaching than the pandemic.
That is why climate related security risks are expected to be a top priority – if Denmark is elected for a seat in the UN Security Council in 2025.
Investing in climate action is also a necessary investment in our security and prosperity.
I come from the land of Hans Christian Andersen. The land of fairy tales.
In fairy tales, people have to go through difficult times in order to reach a happy ending.
That is what happened to Denmark: 100 years ago, a small farmland in the North of Europe. Now, a green super power.
And today, I welcome India, and other countries, joining us on this journey.
We stand on the brink of a green industrial revolution. With new clean energy sources and promising new technologies.
If we combine Danish skill and Indian scale with speed, scope, and political will – we can launch a new era of just, green transformation.
That leads me to my message for you today: The green industrial revolution is not only necessary.
It comes with great opportunities and can put millions of people to work. And it can be highly cost effective.
Allow me to elaborate.
Renewable energy creates three times more jobs than fossil fuels do.
And Asia stands to secure the lion’s share of those jobs.
In Denmark, estimates show that installing one gigawatt of offshore wind secures almost 15,000 full-time jobs.
Today, solar and onshore wind are the cheapest energy sources in most countries.
Cheaper than coal. Cheaper than gas.
On a windy day, Denmark can produce more than 100 percent of our electricity needs from wind.
So renewables are also a gateway to energy security.
The green energy revolution requires investments. There is no way around that.
But the return on these investments is big.
In fact, the savings will amount to eight times the cost when accounting for health and environmental factors.
Of course, as we say in Denmark, the greenest and cheapest energy is the energy you don’t use.
During the past 30 years, Denmark has managed to decouple economic growth from energy consumption.
In fact, Danish GDP has increased by more than 50 percent, while our energy consumption has decreased by 6 percent.
It is possible to create economic growth while lowering the use of energy.
On this green journey in Denmark, we have focused on creating strong cooperation between public and private actors.
Without public-private cooperation, green transition will not happen.
Right now, Denmark is powering ahead with building the world’s first “energy islands”.
The energy islands are huge offshore wind farms. The largest, most expensive infrastructure project ever made in Denmark.
Once completed, the energy island in the North Sea alone will have a capacity of 10 gigawatts – 10 gigawatts! That’s close to ten times the capacity of the largest offshore wind farm in the world today.
And it’s enough to meet the electricity demand of about 10 million European households.
And the potential is even greater:
In time, the North Sea could become the green power plant of the entire European continent, connecting a number of energy islands.
All this will generate jobs. Lots of jobs.
The Danish example of decades of green economic growth is not a fairy tale. It is real.
This decade, we are ending coal in our energy production. And by 2050, we have decided to end oil and gas production in the North Sea.
Other countries can do it too.
To use the words of Prime Minister Modi, we must “reform, transform and perform”.
Governments, individuals, and businesses have to come together.
We must join forces across the globe.
The Green Strategic Partnership between India and Denmark is an example of how we can achieve results by working together.
It’s an honour that the partnership is the first ever of its kind for both our countries – and hopefully it will not be the last.
Together, we aim to shake the world gently towards a green industrial revolution.
Denmark is proud to support India’s visions for a greener future.
One example is the International Solar Alliance.
Climate change is global. It affects us all.
But we also know that it affects some more than others.
The world’s poorest people and countries have contributed the least to climate change. But often, they are hit the hardest.
Without massive and rapid action, climate change will undermine the possibility of reaching the sustainable development goals.
We – the international community – must raise our ambitions to address climate change and its negative impacts – particularly in vulnerable countries.
We must meet our climate finance obligations.
COP26 offers an opportunity to work on this. We must all do our part.
Prime Minister Modi, dear friends.
The past year has been challenging.
But today, we can join the new era of opportunity.
Together, we can pave the way for a greener and safer future for all of us.
Bringing skill, scale, scope, and speed into the global green transformation.
And let me end as I began – with Gandhi’s words: “We must become the change that we want to see”.