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ARGENTINA | 20-03-2019 18:57

Danish firms push sustainable solutions during Queen Margrethe's visit to BA

Queen Margrethe II highlights potential for increased exchange in Denmark and Argentina's sustainability enterprises during a business seminar at the Centro Cultural Kirchner in Buenos Aires.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark visited Buenos Aires to bolster trade relations this week, with a delegation of 30 Danish companies to in tow.

The monarch highlighted potential for increased exchange in Denmark and Argentina’s sustainability enterprises during a business seminar at the Centro Cultural Kirchner in the capital on Tuesday.

“Argentina and Denmark are both partners in international efforts for sustainable development, like decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the effects of climate change,” she said. “These ambitious goals can go hand in hand with business prosperity and economic growth.”

Trade relations between the countries could grow stronger, as Argentina opens new channels for bilateral trade. In 2017, Danish exports of goods and services to Argentina reached US$425 million, while exports from Argentina to Denmark totalled US$225 million. In the first 10 months of 2018, however, Danish exports to Argentina grew 20.8 percent.

“An entrepreneurial spirit is growing between Danish and Argentine businesspeople... as we work towards sustainable solutions,” the Queen said.

Solving sustainability crises in new countries

Denmark’s expertise from its own “green transition” in the 1970s could serve other countries well, said Finn Mortensen, Executive Director of the Danish firm State of Green, which visited Argentina with the Queen’s delegation. Companies have been working to solve pressing climate issues since the country began passing policy on energy and environmental issues with political support from all parties in Parliament, he added.

Technologies developed in Denmark to address climate threats are essential on the global stage, Mortensen said. “Increasing global focus on climate action means that people here will look much more to solutions like [Denmark has] in the future,” he said.

State of Green’s not-for-profit work centres on four key issues: extending access to water; creating sustainable and affordable energy; managing transportation and urbanisation; and regenerating waste through the circular economy, Mortensen told the Times. The company works with with international stakeholders to solve sustainability challenges with preexisting Danish technologies.

The company could help Argentina develop sustainable solutions to issues in areas like Buenos Aires’ metropolitan water supply, Mortensen said.

“Water and Sanitation Argentina (AySA) is the third largest consumer of energy in Argentina, since cleaning water takes a lot of energy,” Mortensen said. “We have experience with waste water treatment and water management in Denmark that we could bring here.”

Danish technology brings circular economy into reality

Many Danish firms credit their expertise in sustainable energy technology to the length and force of the green transition in Denmark.

Kent Skaaning, Chairman of the board of Combigas, said his firm has benefitted from that commitment.

“It’s not that we are more clever, it’s just that we have worked hard to become a world leader in this technology,” Skaaning said. “We started 45 years ago, and we’ve learned many hard lessons.”

Combigas uses bio-gas technology to convert waste into clean and sustainable energy. Biogas energy generation is “a way to complete what we think of as the circular economy,” in which waste finds a new life, Skaaning explained. “We take any organic waste from society, and transform it into valuable fertiliser — that’s saving a lot of resources from society.”

The technology could bring new green solutions to Argentina. While bio-gas energy plants typically require local funding and construction, Skaaning said Denmark has the expertise needed to lead effective plants in countries like Argentina.

“Our goal is to bring the best of our know-how to help our local customers,” he said.

Skaaning said that Combigas has found a partner in Argentina to construct the plants. While funding is yet to be secured, he said biogas technology could soon roll out in the country.

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Anna Laffrey

Anna Laffrey

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