This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

November 5, 2009
Taxes curb Danish oil use, promote energy independence

Watch all the videos from Worldfocus’ signature series: Green Energy in Denmark.

Worldfocus producer John Larson reports from Copenhagen, Denmark on how changing lifestyles, taxing energy and subsidizing alternative technologies have reduced the country’s dependency on oil and created thousands of new jobs.

In Denmark, a Ford Focus costs $51,000 — $34,000 of which are taxes. The Danish economy has grown 78 percent, while cutting carbon emissions in half. The country has also become a net exporter of energy — wind alone has created 30,000 new jobs.




[…] In advance of the international climate summit in Copenhagen, Worldfocus examines the green revolution in Denmark. […]


Dear John, another success for video journalism! And added to this, a topic, which everyone has to be interested in, tgake part of and avt upon! Welcome to Sweden next time!



This is Rebecca from Worldfocus. Thanks for weighing in — the story has generated a lot of good discussion. We will have more from Denmark in the coming weeks.

Rebecca Haggerty


To answer Levi’s question about how the families with modest incomes handle the taxes, here’s how: we simply use less of it. I’m John Ebbinghaus – my famly and I were the subject of this video. For example, my car has a lifetime average of 40mpg, and will do up to 48mpg if I take it easy. It’s a small car, equivalent to a VW Polo, and cost us $31,000 in 2001. With 95 octane unleaded costing $7.50 or so per gallon, I try to economize. If I need to haul something big, I borrow my neighbor’s little trailer. Just about everyone has a trailer hitch – why drag around a lot of weight all the time with a pickup truck when you only carry stuff a few times a month? Don’t get me wrong, not everyone here in Denmark thinks this way – we have teenagers here too, and they have burnout competitions, folks jackrabbit away from stoplights only to wait at the next light (most of them are times in “green waves” adjusted for the legal speed), craftsmen leave their vans idling while they go to the bakery in the morning, etc. But by and large, people are aware of it. I feel the attitude is that they’re doing “the right thing” and besides, there’s money in it. As far as home economy is concerned, y’all’s clothes dryers are a huge problem. When we visited my dad last year in So. California, I was shocked to find NO solar hot water heaters in his large neighborhood. They were also PROHIBITED from hanging their laundry out to dry in the arid air and full sun. Insane. Y’all can see in this video how we do things, perhaps just a few things, really, and just a little differently. It was a real eye opener being interviewed by John Larson, things have become so different in the states since we moved here in the early 90s. Feel free to ask any questions about energy and ecology in Denmark, I’d be happy to answer.


*now a net exporter


Yeah, they forgot to mention that the reason why we’re not a net exporter of energy is because we found tons of oil in the North Sea.


In the US with its large segment of the population hell bent on living in the past and against any form of taxes, it will not happen here in the US.


Good for the Danish.

From now on humans society must plan all of its activities in accordance with ecology, there is no alternative with an acceptable outcome.


Denmark is on the right track. Denmark’s tactics cannot work in the US because it lacks public transportation. The US strategy should be public transportation development.


As long as the big oil and big coal companies got the corrupt politicians in Washington in their packets we will never go green in this USA.


Dirty coal buys all the Congressmen needed to fill their pockets. Their allies are the dirty coal fired electrical utilities which big foot wind and solar power. Welcome to the Dark Side.


This really gives me hope. Yes, it can be done. I wish I could move to Denmark.


Re: Maritta Says:- to put this up on face book you can highlight the Browser Link and copy and paste on your Face Book Board.
You cold also call World Focus Customer service and get help.
Notice the whole of the World Focus report can be on your face book- click on the Face Book sybol on the web pageb of WOrld Focus.


I undertand that Portugal also is being very inovative in the field of alternative energy. Why don’t you do an article on this subject?


Of course this can be done in America! But the government can only set the framework for it. We the people (sounds familiar?); we the communities; we the regions and states have to do it one by one. Where are all the Solar panels on California houses? Where is the framework provided by the state government in form of benefits for the individuals that choose to go that route? Lets think about this one just one more time.


Application to the US isn’t practical because of the size of the US. Is it good that individuals are thinking about efficiency? You bet, but they were forced to do it because the Gov’t taxed the heck out of everything. What about those households with modest incomes how do they cope with the high taxes on energy?


I’d like to post this video to my Facebook page. Can it be done?


I enjoyed watching this report. Done elegantly, the piece about Denmark’s energy resources stands apart from your Al-Jazeera freebies. Good work.


I agree we certainly can learn alot, but do we have the WILL to actually DO it? How could this be accomplished?


we can learn alot from the Danish

Produced by Creative News Group LLC     ©2021 WNET.ORG     All rights reserved

Distributed by American Public Television