Why you’ll soon be able to pick fruit for free in Copenhagen

Peckish pedestrians in Copenhagen will soon be able to pluck healthy snacks directly from greenery around the city.

Why you'll soon be able to pick fruit for free in Copenhagen
Photo: photodesign/Depositphotos

Fruit and berry-bearing bushes and trees are to be planted at churchyards, parks, playgrounds and sporting facilities in Copenhagen.

Free, pickable fruit is to become more readily available to people in the Danish capital as a result of a new Copenhagen Municipality initiative, Politiken reports.

The municipality is to launch a new “administrative basis for greenery with edible plants and fruit-bearing bushes,” the newspaper writes.

A decision by the city’s council (Borgerrepræsentation) must be formalized before planting begins, the report notes. That is expected to occur in a straightforward manner on Thursday.

“Many Copenhageners don’t have their own gardens and therefore don’t have a chance to see the learning process, including for children, that nature is something you can use,” Astrid Aller, a city councillor with the Socialist People’s Party (SF), told Politiken.

“It might seem like a small thing but it’s part of our aim for Copenhagen to be a place you want to be, not a place you drive around by car.

“We want a city where you’re not just at home, at work or at a park, but where the whole city is a space in which people want to be,” she continued.

Trees and plants bearing edible fruit or berries can, up to now, only be found in nature reserves such as Amager Nature Park.

Asked whether fruit-bearing trees in the city could be a target for misuse, Aller said taking fruit with the purpose of selling it would be “too inefficient”.

“I find it difficult to imagine anyone emptying the bushes in order to sell the fruit,” she said.

“And if a family plucks two berry bushes to make jam, that’s hardly going to make me see red,” she added.

READ ALSO: Free fruit turns Danish kids away from unhealthy snacks

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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.