A change of government in Denmark at a time of geopolitical strife and economic uncertainty could risk oppressing the political aspect to the country’s green ambitions.
The AP Moller-Maersk group is among 12 major Danish companies calling themselves the Global Compact Network Denmark. The coalition has called on politicians to keep green issues at the top of the agenda by supporting innovation and advocating for regulations that accelerate the transition to low and zero-carbon energy.
Anne Steffensen, CEO of Danish Shipping, thinks that her sector is an influential one in the country. Although Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called the election during a moment of political uncertainty for Denmark, it seems unlikely to have much effect on shipping in the country.
“We have, in Denmark, been very fortunate and very lucky that we have had strong backing from the majority of parties in the Danish Parliament. Whether it’s been a red or a blue government, so to speak, we’ve had the full support in terms of our framework conditions,” Steffensen said.
We have, in Denmark, been very fortunate and very lucky that we have had strong backing from the majority of parties in the Danish Parliament
— Anne Steffensen
“Despite the discussions that there have been recently, due to the very high profits and income in the shipping sector, we still have the backing that we need in the Danish Parliament, so that we have stable framework conditions in Denmark.”
Norden CEO Jan Rindbo thinks the shipping sector has been able to back up the influence it has in Denmark by proving that it is able to innovate.
“The ability to reinvent and innovate business models and tapping in now to the whole green agenda is, of course, one important aspect but also digitalisation, the ability to use data,” he said.
“I think what we in Denmark are particularly good at is operating vessels and finding value in operating vessels. That’s why the old [vessel] operator model, especially in dry bulk, in Denmark has a big presence. It’s this ability of combining what we call business acumen with also the data.”
All this being said, the formation of the Global Compact Network Denmark — which has global household names such as brewer Carlsberg Group and toymaker LEGO Group among its members — signals concerns among the wider business community that green innovation could be threatened by new economic priorities as Europe faces a winter energy crisis.
With a bumpy macroeconomic outlook and ambitious decarbonisation goals, Danish shipping will need to play its best hand.