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Human Powered Christmas in Copenhagen

League President Andy Clarke heads off to Copenhagen next week as an official observer to reinforce the need for national, state and local governments to include cycling as an integral part of a sustainable transport strategy – which Copenhagen exemplifies so well.

Maybe he can help power their municipal Christmas tree while he’s there.


(Photo from Denmark tourism bureau, via CNET)

From CNET:

When you’re the host city for international climate change negotiations, using energy-efficient LED lights on the Christmas tree apparently isn’t enough.

The traditional Christmas tree in Copenhagen’s City Hall Square will be powered by people, rather than a distant power plant. The square has been equipped with 15 bicycles which, when pedaled, light up the 700 LED bulbs on the tree.

The 17-meter-high tree went up on Sunday during an opening ceremony in which Saint Nicholas climbed a fire truck ladder to the top of the tree and lit fireworks. Even during the ceremony, the lights were being powered by the bicycles, according to a representative from the city of Copenhagen. Children, a mayor, and international VIPs joined in the pedaling during the opening ceremony, he added.

The carbon-light approach to lighting the traditional Christmas tree is one of the attractions being organized for COP15, the latest round of international climate change talks, which start next week. The purpose of these meetings is to establish treaties to limit the amount of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.

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