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The Climate Neutral Collaborative between Washington State and Denmark (CN-2050)

The Climate Neutral Collaborative between Washington State and Denmark (CN-2050)

The ties between Washington State and Denmark are both historical and contemporary. Many Danes settled in Washington State through the 1800s and early 1900s. Continuing to build on the Danish-Washington State relationship, i-SUSTAIN has created a new multi-year program called the Climate Neutral Collaborative between Washington State and Denmark or CN2050. CN2050 brings the top public, private and NGO renewable and sustainable energy leaders from Washington State and Denmark together to pool their ideas and resources to move both state and country toward the goal of being climate neutral by 2050.

To kick off the program, Danish Ambassador to the U.S. Peter Taksoe-Jensen spoke about Denmark’s Energy Policy in Seattle on November 22, along with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, Scan|Design Foundation executive director, Mark Schleck, and i-SUSTAIN CEO Patricia Chase.

As part of CN2050, several Seattle councilmembers expressed interest in signing a Letter of Commitment with Copenhagen to share best practices related to reducing fossil fuel use and becoming climate neutral by 2050. In addition, a luncheon was held in honor of the Ambassador with attendees from Boeing, Microsoft, the University of Washington, and the Seattle cleantech community.

In 2014, a delegation of public and private sector professionals possibly including Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee will travel to Denmark for site visits and meetings.

Through the efforts of i-SUSTAIN, an urban sustainability consulting firm and the support of a Washington State based NGO, the Scan|Design Foundation, almost 400 public and private sector urban professionals have come to Denmark in the past 10 years to experience Danish best practices in energy, waste, water, public space, bicycling infrastructure, pedestrianization of streets and more.

Exposure to Denmark has had a profound impact on Seattle as well as other cities across the US that look to Seattle as a leader in green living. An excellent example is Seattle’s Energy Benchmarking and Reporting Program, which requires commercial and multifamily building owners to conduct annual energy performance.  Reducing the energy used by buildings is important because 26% of Seattle’s green house gas emissions are produced from building energy usage. The original inspiration for this law came from Denmark where i-SUSTAIN’s clients including Seattle’s Director of Planning and Development, Diane Sugimura, as well as many Seattle real estate developers, architects and planners met with Copenhagen’s building code officials. Jayson Antonoff, formerly Seattle’s Climate and Energy Advisor, who spearheaded this program within the city said, “our first exposure to thinking about having some sort of metric of building performance akin to energy consumption of cars and appliances was never considered until we were exposed to the Danish model.” Now other U.S. cities are implementing similar programs based on Seattle’s experience. This is just one example among many of how Denmark has impacted Washington State.

For more information on CN2050, please contact Patricia Chase at