On 4 December 1987, French viewers discovered the first episode of the Telethon on their television screens. Since then, the charity programme, which aims to support research into various genetic and neuromuscular diseases, has become an annual event. So much so that it is now the biggest popular fundraiser in the world. A concept that Denmark has decided to import and turn it a ecology way. But this time, the aim is to finance the fight against global warming.
A real success
Broadcast last Saturday, the show, which took place in an open-air leisure park not far from the capital, Copenhagen, brought many Danes together in front of their TV sets. The objective of the evening was clear: to raise enough money to plant 1 million trees in the Scandinavian country. Admittedly, the original target of 20 million kroner, equivalent to about 2.7 million euros, was not reached. But the 2.4 million euros obtained will allow 914,233 trees to be planted. Given the incredible CO2 storage properties of trees
storage, this massive reforestation can only be welcomed.
Moreover, 20% of the donations will be dedicated to the protection of Danish forests and abroad. A huge success for a first edition which, we hope, will have little brothers and sisters all over the world.
“One million trees, on a global scale, is not a lot but the idea is that people become aware of what they can do.Kim Nielsen, Director of the Growing Trees Network, the foundation involved in the project
Denmark, a pioneer in ecology
83% of Danes believe that climate change is “a very serious problem”, according to a survey by the European institutions published in April. But the kingdom’s awareness is not new. In 1979, in order to cope with the rising price of oil and to anticipate the energy transition, the Danish government decided to invest massively in wind turbines. A gamble on the future that is paying off today, as 40% of Danish electricity now comes from wind power. This is a real achievement when you consider that 50 years ago, 90% of this electricity was generated by oil.
In addition, Denmark has been innovative in achieving sustainability and ecology transition. For example, agricultural waste such as straw or manure is recovered and converted into biofuels. This recycling now supplies two-thirds of the country’s renewable energy production. Another innovative recycling system is the recovery of heat emitted by factories and transport to be redistributed to Danish homes. Two thirds of Danish buildings now benefit from this energy transfer.
This has been made possible by halving the energy consumption of Danish buildings compared to 50 years ago. This impressive progress puts Denmark on the green road to its goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.
Finally, between 1990 and 2015, the country’s carbon emissions fell by 36%. But at the same time, Denmark’s GDP has doubled, so who said that ecology and economic growth were not compatible?