Supporting the green transition – from the Danish workers point of view

The Danish Trade Union Confederation (FH) is the largest national trade union confederation in Denmark with 1.3 million members and is recognized as the most representative workers’ organisation in both the private and the public sector.

During the last century, we have played a key role in shaping societal developments in Denmark – from the introduction of democracy to the development of our strong welfare state.

Now, the time has come to shape the green transition – in a just and socially responsible manner.

The plan is comprehensive in the sense that, unlike other proposals so far, it addresses not only climate policy but also a range of necessary conditions in other policy areas

Bente Sorgenfrey

FH’s proposal for a Danish ‘Climate Action Plan’

On May 31st we presented our proposal for a Danish ‘Climate Action Plan’, which delivers on the 2030 target and includes a total of 113 initiatives[1].

Main features of FH’s proposal are:

  1. Emissions reductions totaling 19 MtconCO2e by 2030, corresponding to the required 70 pct. reductions, and inclusion of all major sectors, e.g. energy, transport, agriculture.

    In total, 89 climate policy initiatives are proposed.
  2. The plan is comprehensive in the sense that, unlike other proposals so far, it addresses not only climate policy but also a range of necessary conditions in other policy areas:

    Employee involvement, work environment, education, re-skilling and social safety. 24 policy initiatives in these areas are proposed.
  3. The plan prescribes specific strategic roles for the public sector (none of the 13 climate partnerships focused specifically on the public sector) and includes strategic ‘missions’ in Power to X (electrofuels etc.), circular economy/bioeconomy and CCS/CCU (carbon capture and storage/usage) which could contribute significantly to global emissions reductions.
  4. A proposal for an expert commission to propose sector-specific carbon taxes, cf. above.
  5. A clear description of the important roles of workers in the green transition. These include a) workers as drivers of implementation, b) workers as developers of new solutions and 3) workers as citizens and employees that may be positively or negatively affected by climate policies.

[1] FH (2020): Sammen skaber vi Danmark – sammen skaber vi grøn omstilling (92 pages),

Source: The Economic Council of the Labour Movement, Ea Energy Analyses, a number of climate partnerships and FH’s own calculations

Expectations to job creation

FH has calculated the employment effects of additional investment in a number of climate measures, that FH overall estimates will be sufficient to meet the 2030 target of 70% reduction.

  1. The investments in Climate action approx. 230 – 450 billion is expected to create at least 200,000 work years (1 job in 1 year), according to our analysis

Figure 1 sums up the emissions reductions and most potent climate policy initiatives.

While the supporting initiatives in other policy areas are not shown, the proposal stresses that these are essential and that the transition must be not only ‘green’ but also ‘just’.

The Danish workers guiding principles for the green transition

  1. The green transition in Denmark will have to fulfill the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

  2. The green transition must create more good jobs: The green transition must be used to promote the potential in both people and technology.

    Even though some jobs will vanish, new jobs will arise. Therefore, focus must be directed towards adequate and timely reskilling and upskilling of workers.

  3. Collective decisions and international binding collaboration have to be at the centre of the green transition: Individuals can take responsibility to improve the climate.

    However, it cannot be one individual’s responsibility to solve the entire transition. Denmark must be a frontrunner and inspire other countries to combine the green transition with upward convergence in living standards for workers.

  4. The climate crisis and the green transition cannot in any way increase inequality: The green transition will undoubtedly cause tremendous costs for our society. However, no action will only mean higher costs for all. FH will work for a just transition for all.


tconCO2e By 2030


policy initiatives