Case of the month - Copenhagen

Policy   CPH 2025 Climate Plan
City    Copenhagen (Denmark)
Promotor    Copenhagen City Council
   The CPH 2025 Climate Plan was adopted by the City Council on August 
 23rd 2012
Territorial scope    city of Copenhagen
Target buildings    


Public buildings

 New buildings    
Private buildings
 Existing buildings
 Industrial, services, etc.
Main Targets by 2025  
     • Become the world's first carbon-neutral city
 • Reduce 1.16 million tons of carbon emissions
Other goals by 2025  
 • Municipal new build up to 2015 meets the requirements of the 2015
   classification and up to 2020 new build meets the requirements of the
   2020 classification
 • Copenhagen's vehicles powered by electricity, hydrogen or biofuels
 • Reduce by 50% the street lighting energy consumption
 • Install a total of 60,000 m2 solar panels on both existing and new
   municipal buildings
    The CPH 2025 Climate Plan is the result of an integrated process of future challenges and solutions that the city of Copenhagen decided to implement in order to become the first carbon-neutral city and the best urban environment in the world. The purpose is to use the city as a living lab for new green solutions in partnership with private partners and research institutions, and to promote the city as an international showcase for smart green solutions.

The process

The process starting point was launched by the Copenhagen City Council in 2007 through an Eco-Metropolis vision for Copenhagen 2015, structured in four central themes: world's best city for cycles, a climate capital, a green and blue capital city and a clean and healthy big city.

The next step occurred in 2009 with the Climate Plan presentation, a support plan that extended the city's goals to areas like transport, housing and construction, health, education, social activities and culture.

The initiatives are inter-related and have been grouped into six action areas. The energy efficient buildings domain is one of the most important priorities for the municipal activities.

Energy conservation must be a requirement for municipal buildings (which represents about 5% of the total floor space in the city). Copenhagen intends to achieve 10% of its total CO2 reduction (50,000 tons) by 2015, through construction and renovation projects.

In this context, it is expected that the city public buildings complies the ten initiatives related to:

  • Development of buildings environmental management and maintenance systems;
  • Embracing a climate focus on all renovation projects for municipal buildings;
  • Implementation of low energy construction principles;
  • Fulfillment of energy conservation criteria for all municipality rents;
  • Establishment of an energy fund to finance upcoming projects;
  • Training programs on CO2 reduction opportunities for building owners, renters, trade workers and consultants;
  • "Hotmapping" function on the municipality's homepage for inhabitants and businesses gain perspective on their buildings heat losses;
  • Establishment of dialogue sessions between the municipality and businesses about energy conservation measures and economic benefits;
  • Release dialogue sessions with the national and regional governments about energy upgrades of their buildings in Copenhagen;
  • Municipality contributes towards establishing and developing solar cell solutions through partnerships and a heightened information campaign.

Going beyond the local scale, the referenced set of measures intends to achieve a national energy labelling scheme for public buildings subjected to an energy efficiency upgrading. Through an agreement established between the Danish local government association (Local Government Denmark) with the national government, all climate upgrade projects with less than a five-year payback period will be completed within five years of receiving the energy label, and in the case of Copenhagen municipal building this period and payback could be extended and recovered up to 10 years.

Looking to the future...

The newest and holistic CPH 2025 Climate Plan intends to collect and specify goals and initiatives within four areas - energy consumption, energy production, mobility and the city administration. Working immediately in these four areas will allow Copenhagen to become the world's first carbon-neutral city.

Under the city administration climate initiatives, a major focus will be directed to build low energy and climate-adapted buildings, through the collaboration with knowledge institutions and private and public players to create and disseminate new knowledge on solutions for energy retrofitting, climate adapted new build and user behaviour.

To achieve a 40% reduction of the municipal buildings energy consumption, Copenhagen will bring together a set efforts:


  • Systematic audits and energy consumption recording, as well as energy management and environmentally correct operation;
  • Inclusion of long-term energy saving measures in major retrofitting and refurbishment;
  • The municipal buildings constructed by 2015 should follow the requirements of the 2015 classification, built by 2020 should follow the 2020 classification;
  • 30,000 m2 of solar panels will be installed on both existing and new municipal buildings.

For the city administration this strategy could be a good opportunity to move the market to a more climate and environmentally conscious direction. The climate and environmental requirements must include the implementation of procurement strategies, focusing on transport, energy consuming products and the buildings and plant area.

Also in the field of energy consumption, the great potential of buildings energy efficiency is addressed as an important contribution for the city energy reduction initiatives. These initiatives are planned to prepare both the existing and new buildings for new demanding regulations, in order to improve the building structures and conditions, procedures, guidelines, funds to increase the climate retrofitting, and the partnerships establishment for the development of private lighthouse projects.