Copenhagen to promote green solutions in South Africa

06.02.2014
Lord Mayor Frank Jensen is in South Africa on a trip he hopes will benefit firms in both countries while helping the climate.

South Africa is Africa’s economic powerhouse, and as its economy grows so too does its need for sustainable technology. Copenhagen can help with that, and Lord Mayor Frank Jensen will be in South Africa this week to discuss his city’s green profile with Cape Town’s mayor and local firms.

Frank Jensen will be on hand on Friday to open the Copenhagen Solutions exhibit in Cape Town, which features a number of Copenhagen’s sustainability initiatives. All of the solutions in areas such as cycling, water, combined heat and power and wind power technology have a potential export value for Danish firms.

“South Africa’s economy is growing rapidly, and the country has ambitious goals for reducing CO2 emissions. Copenhagen wants to be the world’s first carbon-neutral capital city, and in order to achieve that we’ve come up with a number of sustainable urban initiatives, which we think could be implemented in South Africa. This would help Copenhagen firms, it would create jobs in the city, and it would help South Africa go green,” says Frank Jensen.

The Danish government has set a goal of increasing exports to South Africa by 50 percent within the next four years. Areas such as green-energy technology and cleantech are expected to provide much of that growth.

Accompanying the mayor on the trip to South Africa is Claus Lønborg, Managing Director of Copenhagen Capacity, Copenhagen’s official investment promotion agency that seeks to promote foreign investment, business development and cluster growth. Lønborg sees great value in visiting South Africa.

“Meeting prospective partners face-to-face creates closer relations and for those South African firms that do business in northern Europe it sends a clear signal that the interest is mutual,” Lønborg says.

While there he will call on a number of firms, including the country’s cleantech cluster, which is seeking membership of the International Cleantech Network (ICN), a group founded by Copenhagen Capacity and currently comprising 13 leading cleantech clusters.

The Copenhagen Goodwill Ambassador Corps has helped Copenhagen Capacity establish contact with the South African firms involved in the visit. The Copenhagen Goodwill Ambassadors are high profile Danish businesspeople living abroad who help promote the Copenhagen as an investment opportunity and a travel destination.

“South Africa needs more innovation and more green solutions. There is a lot of potential in using Copenhagen’s established brand to attract South African firms,” says Goodwill Ambassador in South Africa Laura Lykkegaard.

While in South Africa, Lord Mayor Frank Jensen will be participating in the C40 Mayors’ Summit in Johannesburg. The C40 is a network of the world’s megacities committed to the reduction of CO2 emissions. The summit allows mayors of member cities an opportunity to discuss the challenge of climate change and share possible solutions. During the meeting Copenhagen and Milan will sign an agreement to co-operate on the promotion of cycling.

 

For more information, please contact:

Kristian Holmelund Jakobsen
Tel.: +45 2495 1831
E-mail: zv6m@okf.kk.dk