Climate change is commonly identified as one of the most urgent and critical issues facing the global community. The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that human actions are changing the Earth’s climate and creating major disturbances for ecosystems with major consequences for human development and wellbeing. The IPCC (2007: 5, 13) reports that the world has warmed by an average of 0.76° Celsius since pre-industrial times, and projects that global average temperature is likely to increase further by 1.8° to 4°C by the end of the twenty-first century if no action is taken. Changes in temperature have already impacted natural and human systems – including reduced snow cover, declines in Arctic sea ice, thawing permafrost, more intense and longer droughts, and increased frequency of heavy precipitation events. There are predictions of even more devastating impacts with future temperature increases. There is an increasing realization within the international community that

achieving the consensus and commitment needed to take stronger action on climate change, including reaching agreement on a post-2012 international climate framework, requires positioning climate change in a broader policy context. Climate change is not just an environmental issue, but one intimately connected with a wider social, economic, and geopolitical agenda. Many of the decisions critical for the effective transition to a low-carbon economy will take place outside the climate policy community. A broader framing of the challenges of climate change may reveal new opportunities to align goals across foreign policy areas and bring a wider constituency and greater effectiveness to efforts to tackle the problem. The ostensible goal of Western foreign policy is to provide stability and

security as a foundation for human well-being, global freedom, and prosperity. However, in today’s increasingly inter-connected world, the traditional instruments of diplomacy are not always helpful in tackling global threats. Traditional alliances struggle to act effectively against a threat, such as climate change, when the cause (greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions) is not the

are diverse, less visible and, less predictable in nature. The aim of this chapter is to identify the opportunities presented by

Danish foreign policy to further climate change objectives. Denmark pursues its interests through various foreign policy dimensions – international relations and diplomacy, energy, development cooperation, security, and trade and investment – and each of these areas is examined in this chapter to identify opportunities for intervention and action to further climate change objectives. Denmark’s foreign policy aims to promote Danish interests and values in

a changing world, and has European, transatlantic, and global dimensions, which are all closely integrated. The driving forces governing its foreign policy are a commitment to peace, order, and a reduction in economic underdevelopment. Denmark has traditionally had a strong commitment to international law and the United Nations (UN), and has long been recognized for the generosity of its aid program and innovative approach to development cooperation.1 Denmark is a member of the European Union (EU) and European affairs are high on the agenda. The country, which includes the self-governing parts of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, has a wider Atlantic view that includes the United States, Canada, and the Arctic.2

Denmark’s description of itself in its candidature to the UN Security Council as a “small country” that is nonetheless “an active player” and a “major donor,” nicely sums up the country’s foreign policy approach (Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2003). Bergman (2006) asserts that Denmark pursues a social democratically-

inspired internationalism, which includes a broad liberal view of the importance of free trade and international cooperation; as well as pursuit of foreign policy that exemplifies the co-existence of national, regional, and international commitments. This is a view similar to that of Pratt (1989: 13) who notes the tendency of social democratic states to conduct “humane internationalism,” which he defines as “an acceptance by the citizens of industrialized states that they have ethical obligations towards those beyond their borders and that these in turn impose obligations upon their governments.” Denmark’s commitment to climate change is consistent with the inter-

nationalist approach to foreign policy. Climate change is viewed as an important issue that requires global attention and collective action; and this includes working toward an international binding solution to limit GHG emissions, supporting the development of strong and coherent energy and climate change policies for Europe, and providing support for mitigation and adaptation actions in developing countries. Denmark is hosting the fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2009, and there is an expectation that negotiators will conclude a two-year process to finalize an international post-2012 climate regime.