Iconic Copenhagen bus service gets CO2 neutral replacement

The 5A bus, a Copenhagen institution that has ferried the city’s citizens across town for several decades, has been usurped by a greener, bluer replacement.

Iconic Copenhagen bus service gets CO2 neutral replacement
The new buses ready to be rolled out at Copenhagen's city hall. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Scanpix

The route, which traverses the Danish capital from Husum Torv to Sundbyvester, is known for its packed insides and somewhat polluted trails. With several departures every hour throughout the day, the 5A plying its route is an almost ubiquitous sight in the city – until today.

Originally introduced as a tram line in 1903, route 5 now sees its long-running 5A buses replaced with newer, more eco-friendly models.

The new bus is launched 45 years to the day after the first diesel buses began to operate the number 5 route. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Scanpix

The all-change to the ageing line is made complete with a new letter – it now becomes the 5C – and extensions to its route.

The new buses, which are five metres longer than their predecessors, are CO2 neutral and run on biogases, reports newspaper Politiken.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen bans ’polluting’ buses

Nitrous oxide and particle omissions will be reduced significantly by the new buses.

Passengers will be able to use all five doors to enter and exit the bus, paying with Denmark’s Rejsekort prepayment system, and have space for 147 passengers – an increase of 82 compared with the old buses that will surely reduce the uncomfortable crowding on the line.

The 5A bus transported 20 million passengers last year, reports Politiken – only 6.6 million fewer than the total number of passengers passing through Copenhagen Airport in the same period.

A 24-hour service will also be introduced for the 5C, which will depart up to eight times per hour at peak times. 

The 'eclectic' red leather seats of the old 5A have also bee upgraded to something a little lighter on the eye. Photo :Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Scanpix


‘We still have a chance’: Danish minister’s relief after Glasgow climate deal

Denmark's climate minister Dan Jørgensen has expressed relief that a meaningful climate change deal was struck in Glasgow last night, after a last minute move by India and China nearly knocked it off course.

'We still have a chance': Danish minister's relief after Glasgow climate deal
Denmark's climate minister Dan Jørgensen speaks at the announcement of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance in Glasgow on Tuesday. Photo: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix

“For the first time ever, coal and fossil fuel subsidies have been mentioned. I’m very, very happy about that,” he told Denmark’s Politiken newspaper. “But I am also very disappointed that the stronger formulations were removed at the last minute.” 

Late on Saturday, the world’s countries agreed the Glasgow Climate Pact, after negotiations dragged on while governments haggled over phasing out coal. 

Denmark is one of the countries leading the phase out of fossil fuels, formally launching the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) with ten other countries and states at the Glasgow summit on Tuesday, announcing an end to oil exploration last December, and committing to phase out coal by 2030 back in 2017. 

Jørgensen conceded that the deal struck on Saturday was nowhere near far-reaching enough to keep global temperature rises below 1.5C, which scientists have estimated is critical to limiting the impacts of climate change, but he said the decision to hold another summit in Egypt next year meant that this goal could still be reached. 

“The big, good news is that we could have closed the door today. If we had followed the rules, we would only have had to update the climate plans in 2025, and the updates would only apply from 2030,” he said, adding that this would be too late. “Now we can fight on as early as next year. This is very rare under the auspices of the UN.” 

Limiting temperature rises to 1.5C was still possible, he said. 

“We have a chance. The framework is in place to make the right decisions. There was a risk that that framework would not be there.” 

Jørgensen said that he had come close to tears when India launched a last-minute bid to water down the language when it came to coal, putting the entire deal at risk. 

“It was all really about to fall to the ground,” he said. “The assessment was that either the Indians got that concession or there was no agreement.” 

Sebastian Mernild, a climate researcher at the University of Southern Denmark, said he was disappointed by the lack of binding targets and global deadlines in the plan, but said it was nonetheless “a step in the right direction”, particularly the requirement that signatories to the Paris Agreement must tighten their 2030 emissions reduction targets by the end of 2022.

“It’s good that this thing with fossil fuels has got in,” he added. “It’s a pity that you don’t have to phase them out, but only reduce.”

He said the test of whether the Glasgow meeting is a success or failure would not come until the various aspects of the plan are approved and implemented by members states.