Denmark is to end all new oil and gas exploration with immediate effect as part of a plan to phase out fossil fuels by 2050, one of the most drastic moves by a crude-producing nation to curb carbon emissions.
The country’s parliament agreed to scrap planned licensing rounds in the North Sea and said extraction of oil and gas must end by the middle of the century, at which point Denmark aims to be carbon neutral.
While Denmark is a small oil producer by global standards, it is the most significant move to ban fossil-fuel extraction, following more symbolic gestures from countries such as France and New Zealand. The move highlights a global shift away from fossil fuels as countries and companies seek to reduce carbon emissions with the aim of limiting global warming.
Several major economies including Germany, the U.K., and France have recently signed into law targets to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, with China and other Asian countries making similar pledges.
Meanwhile, energy giants including BP PLC and Total SE have signaled their intention to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and invest more in renewable energy like wind and solar power.