Environment minister between 2004 and 2007 and now energy minister, Connie Hedegaard has been behind many of the country’s efforts to become a leader in environmental technology.

Renewable energy focus

One notable achievement was her role in introducing Denmark’s Energy Policy 2008-11, which will boost biomass/waste and wind energy and offer large, annual subsidies for solar and wave energy producers. Plans also include support for two 200-megawatt offshore wind farms that are scheduled to begin energy production in 2012. The policy will also double funding for energy technology R&D.

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A former journalist and TV presenter, Ms Hedegaard, who turns 49 in September, also heads the team of negotiators preparing for the COP 15 environmental summit coming up in Copenhagen in December 2009.

In 1984 she was elected as the hitherto youngest ever member of the Danish Parliament, and in 1989 became political spokeswoman for the Conservative Party, but in 1990 she decided to leave politics and concentrate on her work as a journalist before returning five years ago to take her place in the cabinet.