How much will it cost Copenhagen to host the Tour de France?

Organizers presented earlier this week the Danish stages of the 2021 Tour de France, stoking excitement in sports and cycling-mad Denmark.

How much will it cost Copenhagen to host the Tour de France?
Copenhagen Lord Mayor Frank Jensen (L) with Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

But the thrill of seeing the peloton pass Danish landmarks does not come for free, and was budgeted for in the bid submitted to Tour de France organizer ASO.

According to the bid, Denmark’s host of the three stages would cost no more than 90 million kroner plus secondary costs incurred by individual municipalities through which each of the stages pass. These must be paid in addition to contributions to the 90 million joint cost.

READ ALSO: Here are the routes for the Danish stages of the 2021 Tour de France

For Copenhagen, which is to host the opening stage, the city will incur total a bill of 47 million kroner, according to Lord Mayor Frank Jensen.

“We have formed a company (Grand Depart Copenhagen Denmark 2021) in which I am chairman of the board. Copenhagen Municipality has put in 25 million kroner,” Jensen said.

“With everyone else that is contributing – the state, other municipalities and regions – the total amount is 88 million kroner,” the city mayor explained.

Secondary costs to Copenhagen Municipality will totalover 20 million kroner, meaning the city will pay near 46 million kroner in total.

“Every municipality which has a start or finish area in the stages has had to pledge money from their budget to have the event in their city. That means traffic closures, involvement of city residents, clubs and more,” Jensen said.

“For Copenhagen Municipality, that comes to 21.8 million kroner and I do not expect we will have to pledge more money for it. That’s what we have budgeted for,” the mayor said.

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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.