Connie Hedegaard

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Connie Hedegaard
Connie Hedegaard, Danmarks miljominister och nordisk samarbetsminister.jpg
European Commissioner for Climate Action
In office
9 February 2010 – 31 October 2014
President José Manuel Barroso
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Miguel Arias Cañete (Climate Action and Energy)
Minister for Climate and Energy
In office
23 November 2007 – 24 November 2009
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Lars Løkke Rasmussen
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Lykke Friis
Minister for Nordic Cooperation
In office
18 February 2005 – 23 November 2007
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Preceded by Flemming Hansen
Succeeded by Bertel Haarder
Minister for the Environment
In office
2 August 2004 – 23 November 2007
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Preceded by Hans Christian Schmidt
Succeeded by Troels Lund Poulsen
Personal details
Born (1960-10-15) 15 October 1960 (age 58)
Holbæk, Denmark
Political party Conservative People's Party
Alma mater University of Copenhagen
Connie Hedegaard 2012

Connie Hedegaard Koksbang (born 15 September 1960) is a Danish politician and public intellectual who was European Commissioner for Climate Action in the (second Barroso) European Commission from 10 February 2010 through 31 October 2014.[1][2][3]

On behalf of Denmark, she hosted the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.[4] She was Danish Minister for Climate and Energy from 23 November 2007 as a member of the Cabinet of Anders Fogh Rasmussen III and that of Lars Løkke Rasmussen and had been the Danish Minister for the Environment from 2 August 2004 to 23 November 2007, as a member of the Cabinet of Anders Fogh Rasmussen I and II.

In Denmark, she was a member of the Conservative People's Party (DKF), and was a member of parliament (Folketing) from 10 January 1984 to 3 October 1990. She was also elected a member of the Folketing in the 2005 Danish parliamentary election. Prior to becoming a minister, she worked as a journalist at DR, the Danish national broadcaster.

Education and early career

Connie Hedegaard holds an MA in Literature and History. She has been a member of the Conservative Party and active in government on and off since 1984, when she was elected as the hitherto youngest member of the Folketing, the Danish national parliament, where she sat for six years.[5] In 1990, she left politics to pursue a career in journalism. Over the next 14 years, she worked as a journalist at the newspaper Berlingske Tidende, took the post of Director of DR Radio News, and was the anchor for Deadline, a Danish TV news program.

Political career

Member of the Danish government, 2004–2010

Diving back into politics in 2004, she became Minister of the Environment. A year later, she became Minister for Nordic Cooperation. After the November 2007 general election, she was chosen as Minister for Climate and Energy. In May 2008, she told Denmark, “Sustainable economic growth is an attainable objective. The Nordic Region has made great progress with solutions based on environmental technology, and some day it will be possible to stockpile energy generated from renewable sources such as windmills, and to run vehicles purely on excess energy.”[6][7]

Hedegaard was also in charge of preparing and hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen.[8]

From 2007, Hedegaard was behind Denmark’s energy policies. In April, she signed an action plan with India on renewable energy.[9] One notable achievement was her role in introducing Denmark’s Energy Policy 2008–2011. The policy made her country the first in the world to commit to an overall energy reduction, not just a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. It includes the following language.

  • Energy Savings: A target of 2% reduction of total energy use from 2006 levels by 2011, and 4% by 2020.
  • Renewable Energy: Increased biomass/waste and wind energy and provide large, annual subsidies for solar and wave energy. Regarding wind power, plans include support for two 200 MW offshore wind farms that are scheduled to begin energy production in 2012. Additionally, money has been set aside for informational and labeling campaigns aimed at replacing oil-fired furnaces with heat pumps.
  • Energy taxes: Higher taxes on CO2 emitters, as well as a new tax on emitters of nitrogen oxide (NOx).
  • Energy technology: Doubled funding for energy technology R&D.
  • Transport: Extended the electric vehicle tax exemption to 2012 and introduced a tax exemption for hydrogen vehicles. Planned a tests scheme for electric vehicles. Set the goal to use 5.75% biofuels for all land transit by 2010 and 10% by 2020, in line with EU targets.

European Commissioner for Climate Action, 2010–2014

Taking up her new position at the European Commission on 10 February 2010, Hedegaard stressed the importance of climate change in the 21st century. She hoped that by the end of her five-year term, Europe would be the most climate friendly region in the world. Her priorities would be to implement the European Climate and Energy package and to continue her efforts towards an ambitious international climate agreement.[10]

According to the mandate outlined by President Barroso, her principal responsibilities as Commissioner for Climate Action was to:

  • Help the European Union to meet its targets for 2020 and beyond to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Develop and implement the European Union Emission Trading Scheme and to promote its links with other carbon trading systems with the ultimate aim of building an international carbon trading market,
  • Help promote the development and demonstration of low carbon and adaptation technologies and to develop a strong science and economic base for EU climate policy;
  • Have cross cutting responsibility for developing adaptation to climate change inside the EU and for working with other Commissioners, to ensure that an appropriate climate dimension is present in all Community policies;
  • Build on the White Paper on adaptation to climate change and to help develop adaptation strategies across all policy areas.[11]

In order to carry out her responsibilities, Hedegaard was in charge of the newly created Directorate-General for Climate Action which builds on the climate directorate which was previously in the Directorate-General for Environment.

Other activities


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Hans Christian Schmidt
Minister for the Environment
Succeeded by
Troels Lund Poulsen
Preceded by
Flemming Hansen
Minister for Nordic Cooperation
Succeeded by
Bertel Haarder
New office Minister for Climate and Energy
Succeeded by
Lykke Friis
Preceded by
Mariann Fischer Boel
Danish European Commissioner
Succeeded by
Margrethe Vestager
New office European Commissioner for Climate Action
Succeeded by
Miguel Arias Cañete
as European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Denmark Emmelie de Forest
European of the Year
(by the Danish European Movement)

Succeeded by
Most recent.