Police at loss for explanation after Copenhagen car fires

Cars were set on fire in several parts of Copenhagen late on Saturday and during the early hours of Sunday.

Police at loss for explanation after Copenhagen car fires
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Police received reports of car fires in the Nørrebro, Nordvest and Hellerup areas of the capital, Copenhagen Police duty officer Henrik Svejstrup confirmed.

The first report, of a car fire on the Udbygade street in Nørrebro, was received at 11:30pm on Saturday. A second fire on nearby Sjællandsgade was reported shortly afterwards.

Next, a car was reported on fire at Peter Rørdamsvej in Nordvest, near the famous Grundtvig’s Church.

Two such fires in upmarket Hellerup close to Emdrupvej also occurred.

The last fire was reported at 12:26am.

“The whole thing happened within an hour,” Svejstrup said early on Sunday.

“We are currently trying to understand the situation. It appears that, once we reach one location, a fire starts at the next,” he said.

Police did not confirm the extent of damage to the vehicles.

“It depends how quickly fire services were able to reach the scene,” Svejstrup said.

Although five car fires in one night is an unusually high number, several similar incidents have occurred recently, including between August 3rd-5th. Neighbouring Sweden has seen a spate of such attacks, causing damage to dozens of cars in different regions.

“This is a strange type of crime. Nobody gains anything from it,” Svejstrup said.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen police arrest teen as car fires continue (from 2016) 


Copenhagen to miss 2025 zero emissions target

Copenhagen will not reach its longstanding target of becoming CO2 emissions neutral by 2025.

Cyclists on Copenhagen's
Cyclists on Copenhagen's "Lille Langebro" bridge. The Danish capital has admitted to errors in emissions calculations and says it won't be climate neutral in 2025, a long-standing target. Photo by Febiyan on Unsplash

A city councillor told newspaper Jyllands-Posten that the city, which has long stated its aim of becoming the world’s first CO2-neutral capital, would not meet that target as scheduled.

“I won’t need to stand there in 2025 and say ‘hurrah, we’re CO2 neutral’, because I know that CO2 will still be emitted (then),” elected representative Ninna Hedeager Olsen of the Copenhagen Municipality environment section told Jyllands-Posten.

Tourist board Visit Denmark has previously used the emissions goal to market the city, while Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen named the target during the C40 climate summit when it was hosted by Copenhagen in 2019.

But the municipality has included wind energy produced in other municipalities in its calculations on energy sustainability, according to the newspaper report.

This means it effectively still emits CO2 overall.

The company which supplies energy to the city, Hofor, has erected windmills in a number of municipalities outside of Copenhagen. But the electricity produced by these windmills has been used in calculations of CO2 emissions in both Copenhagen and in the municipalities in which the windmills are actually located.

The replication of the energy production in data for different locations can “rightly” be said to be “cheating the scales”, according to Hedeager Olsen.

But that is not the only problem in calculations of the city’s emissions, she also admitted.

“There are loads of things that haven’t been counted,” she said.

The goal to become climate neutral by 2025 was first set by the city in 2012 in a climate plan adopted by the city government.

Copenhagen was the following year awarded the Cities Climate Leadership award for the plan.