Copenhagen Green Economy Leader Report

Our new report outlines the strategic choices facing Copenhagen as it builds on its pioneering work as a global green economy leader.

Copenhagen is widely recognised as a leader in the global green economy. The Copenhagen region accounts for almost 40% of Denmark’s output and has enjoyed long-term stable growth. At a national level, Danish GDP per capita is ranked among the top 10 countries in the world. At the same time, the city’s growth has been delivered while improving environmental performance and transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

This new report, which we have produced in partnership with the City of Copenhagen, shows that the city continues to build on its pioneering success. Copenhagen has set itself the ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2025, and the report looks at the challenges and opportunities involved in delivering this transformative agenda.

Featuring a wealth of new research findings, the report shows how Copenhagen’s success is underpinned by a strong combination of the city’s green growth drivers. A number of these drivers rank among the best in Europe and the world, including the city’s compact urban form, strong innovation, high skills and employment, low carbon emissions, and improved environmental quality.

Energy and resource effectiveness and low carbon drivers are central to Copenhagen’s carbon-neutral goal, and will require substantial additional policy support, particularly in the areas of district heating, energy efficiency, waste management and decarbonising the transport sector.

The report also examines the challenges that Copenhagen will face in maintaining its position as a green economy leader internationally. Copenhagen remains one of the most productive cities in Europe, with gross value added exceeding US $83,000 per worker in 2010. However, over the last decade, income and investment levels in other OECD countries and cities have been closing the gap with Denmark. Drawing on the city’s strengths as an innovation-led economy will be key.

Produced by the Economics of Green Cities Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science in partnership with the City of Copenhagen.

Publication date
May 2014
Research Directors
Graham Floater Director of Seneca and Principal Research Fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science
Philipp Rode Executive Director of LSE Cities and Senior Research Fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science
Dimitri Zenghelis Principal Research Fellow, Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science
Research Team
Matthew Ulterino Researcher, LSE Cities, 
Duncan Smith Research Officer LSE Cities,
Karl Baker Researcher LSE Cities, 
Catarina Heeckt Researcher LSE Cities
Nicky Gavron Greater London Authority
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Executive Summary PDF