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Cooper Heilmann ‘19: Look to Denmark For Climate Change Solutions

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Cooper Heilmann '19 recently returned from a “life-changing” 5 months abroad in Denmark with a fresh perspective on combating climate change in the U.S.

“Danish climate awareness extends all the way to the local and individual level. Upon arriving in Copenhagen, I instantly noticed a cleanliness in the air, a noticeably quieter buzz of traffic. Bicycle highways that run parallel to every street and extend far into the suburbs are populated by hundreds of cyclists commuting to and from work," Heilmann writes. "The city has provided bicycle parking lots and traffic infrastructure, as well as an efficient bus and metro system accessed by quickly tapping your 'rejsekort' (travel card) on an electronic scanner.”

Heilmann recommends embracing local solutions to climate change with the hopes of expanding the efforts nationally. "While higher levels of government may be hamstrung by lengthy discussion and the influence of interest groups, local governments can take their own initiatives to foster sustainable living and practice," he says.

Read the entire column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.