In the past two years Denmark has been hit by extreme downpours, which have resulted in severe problems in relation to infrastructure issues. The weather have been characterised as the worst in downpour in recorded Danish weather history. Especially in Copenhagen there have been problems with flooding and later with getting rid of the massive amounts of water that have been accumulating in cellars and streets because the drainage system could not cope. But now there seem to be a solution underway as Danish pensions fund have proposed to invest in infrastructure which will remedy some of the problems a investment in the area of 2 billion Euro just for Copenhagen alone.
“Climate change as a extreme rain will require investments in billions, as it can be difficult to find space in government budgets. We have lots of money, we would like to invest in it so that municipalities can spend the money on welfare,” says CEO PFA Pension, Henry Heideby,
PFA, PKA and pension Denmark have proclaimed that they have 19 billion dollars that can be invested now, and where government will pay back with interest over time. A broad political majority supporting the proposal but it is still unclear what the details of the agreement will look like. The spokesperson from the Liberal party on finance issues, Jacob Jensen, sees it as a step to boost more cooperation between government and private investors.
“It could be for renovation of the sewers,” says Jacob Jensen.
Last year’s torrential rain cost insurers nearly one billion dollars in damages, and ISS Damage (one of the companies in charge of the clean-up) estimates that damage is more extensive this time.
One of the proposals have been to establish channels in Copenhagen just like in Amsterdam in order to lead water away from roads and houses.
“We are entering to make sure that water is flowing in the streets in a planned direction toward the green areas, such as the park. From there, there must be channels that can lead the water further out to the coast,” said Per Jacobsen the local governmental official in charge of severs and water supply.
Copenhagen has since last year’s big cloudburst cooperation with seven neighboring municipalities to find a common solution to the problem of water masses, but environmental and engineering mayor Ayfer Baykal doubt on the idea of channels.
“Such concrete channels mean that we must tear half the town down so we can not just do. But we must look at whether there are areas we can use the pools or another for rainwater, so it does not burden the sewers, “he said.
Under all circumstances there is no doubt at least among the majority people that the weather we see in Copenhagen is a result of global warming and new thinking have to be applied in order for this and other cities to cope with the challenge. As pension fund in reality is “our own money” it would seem appropriate that we put it to good use for something the will benefit us all.