Copenhagen lord mayor parks Formula 1 project

Danish motorsport fans’ dreams of seeing Formula 1 in the streets of Copenhagen appear to have broken down after the city’s lord mayor Frank Jensen said the project would be shelved.

Copenhagen lord mayor parks Formula 1 project
Copenhagen's lord mayor Frank Jensen. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Jensen has advised finance minister Kristian Jensen and entrepreneur Helge Sander, the primary backer of the project, not to take plans any further.

“I am asking for it to be stopped now. That means that I have told my colleagues in the small minority (of supporters) that I have, that this is my view. They have taken it into account,” Jensen told newspaper Politiken on Friday.

The plans to bring the event to Copenhagen, which last year saw details released of a potential track in the streets of the city, was too high-risk to continue with, Jensen said.

“I went into this positively and have openly assessed whether it would be possible to bring Formula 1 to Denmark and Copenhagen for a three-year period. As things have progressed, it has become clear that there are high expectations regarding public funding for the motor race,” he said.

“The narrow majority I had at Copenhagen City Hall supporting this project has always maintained that it must not cost the municipality money,” he continued.

The lord mayor also said he felt that the project had not had a unifying effect in the city.

Finance minister Kristian Jensen had also set requirements for the project including overall political support from the municipality, which was found to be lacking.

The plan, which was headed by former MP Sander and millionaire Lars Seier Christensen had an estimated minimum investment of 300 million kroner (40.3 million euros).

It could have seen drivers Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and company racing in Copenhagen in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

But doubt emerged earlier this year over the viability of the plan, with disagreements between the city's municipality and the government over funding.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen Formula 1 plan in doubt over municipal financing


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.