Copenhagen and Malmö to clash in Europa League ‘Öresund Bridge derby’

Or should that be the Øresund Bridge derby?

Copenhagen and Malmö to clash in Europa League 'Öresund Bridge derby'
Europa Leage groups displayed after the draw in Monaco. Photo: Eric Gaillard/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark's league champions FC Copenhagen are to play against Swedish side Malmö FF in the UEFA Europa League after Friday’s draw brought about an unusual meeting between the two geographically-close clubs.

Although the two cities are only around 45 kilometres apart and a train journey between them takes no more than half an hour, their biggest football clubs (sorry, Brøndby fans) rarely play against each other, since they each compete in their national leagues.

FC Copenhagen play in Denmark’s Superliga, while Malmö are in Allsvenskan, Sweden’s top division.

But their qualification for the same European competition this season has resulted in an unusual competitive fixture between the two.

The two clubs will play each other twice, with one game taking place in Malmö and the other in Copenhagen.

Sports reporter Alexandra Jonson pointed out on social media that, for Malmö, the match in Copenhagen will be closer than any of the club’s away fixtures in the Swedish league.

Ukrainians Dynamo Kyiv and Lugano of Switzerland complete the Europa League’s Group B, and will therefore also visit both Denmark and Sweden. Exact fixture details are yet to be confirmed.

FC Copenhagen manager Ståle Solbakken said he expected a special atmosphere at the matches between the neighbouring Scandinavian sides.

“Malmö will be like playing a derby with lots of intensity and duels. It will certainly be a match with a lot of attention from local fans and media and we are looking forward to meeting our neighbour in a match with points at stake,” Solbakken told TV2 Sport.

READ ALSO: Malmö's Turning Torso sees off Copenhagen threat to 'tallest tower' status

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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.