How Denmark Is Raising The World's Greenest Generation

20/02/2017 17:10 GMT | Updated 21/02/2018 10:12 GMT

By 2025 the Danish capital Copenhagen will be the world's first carbon neutral city, that's the plan anyway. Carbon emissions fell by around 20% in 2015 from the 2005 level. So far so good, but bear in mind this is a city which already has a head start on other major urban centres in Europe. Copenhagen is partly powered by a huge offshore wind farm, around 40% of the population cycle to work every day (that's more than the total number of daily cycle commuters in the entire USA) and every government puts green policies high on the agenda.

The real work begins now with the city's power stations all about to switch to fossil-free fuel. The transformation should be completed by 2018. Some environmentalist groups have criticised the city's authorities for placing too little emphasis on cutting consumption. It'll take continuous education to convince Copenhagen's 700,000 or so inhabitants that they also need to play a part if their city is to hit the 2025 target.

That education begins early. At the newly re-opened Experimentarium, costing around 88 million pounds to renovate, almost all of the exhibits have an environmental theme. This is a place where children have lots of fun but also learn about ways the world can reduce climate change. One of the major sponsors of the Experimentarium is A.P. Moller, the name behind one of the world's largest shipping and oil companies: Maersk. A case of a guilty conscience perhaps or a global company aware that it has a responsibility to invest in a greener generation. Their sponsorship of the Experimentarium goes way beyond a plaque on the wall. On the first floor, children are busy pushing little wooden ships, loaded with mini containers, mounted on wheels around a vast room and in and out of a tangle of overhead chutes and tubes which transport different coloured balls. Each ball represents cargo, how can the children move the cargo from Europe to Asia using the least co2 is the aim of the game. Welcome to a theme park Danish style where science and nature are intertwined with environmental ideas as tightly as a DNA helix on display in another room.

In the Energy Zone, sponsored by Dong, the state energy firm, the one switching its power stations away from fossil fuels, there are mini wind turbines. Children stand facing the breeze generated, their Danish blonde hair blown back just as their city is busy trying to take great steps forward towards a greener future. On a world map, the amount of co2 generated by different countries is represented by a handle, pull up and you feel the equivalent weight of the carbon emissions. Denmark's is the easiest to lift.

Saskia and Julius Kubiak, aged 9 and 7, were busy playing with the exhibits. Even at their young age they get the message. "We shouldn't throw away so much plastic and I tell my Dad not to use his car so much." Saskia tells me. Even young Julius is keen to express his green credentials; "I think we should not have power stations at all" perhaps his vision can come true in a country which can on some days generate more power from wind farms than the entire nation actually needs. The children get back to climbing to the bridge of a mock cargo ship, ready to steer a course to a greener future.

The impressive building itself, clad in 28 tonnes of aluminium and with an internal helix style staircase that used 10 tonnes of copper is built to last and used a variety of environmentally friendly building techniques. It's own power is largely wind generated.

The experimentarium is one of the most popular places for school visits, sure it's educational, fun but also it's how this country is making sure its children will grow up to be Europe's greenest citizens.