Copenhagen Pride Parade to be world’s first to transition to all-electric vehicles

Photo: Elina Kamby

Copenhagen Pride’s annual Parade which takes place in August will this year become the world’s first Pride parade to fully transition to all-electric vehicles, organisers have announced today.

The announcement beats Copenhagen Pride’s own ambition to be carbon neutral by 2024 and complements the City of Copenhagen’s own target for 2025.

Lars Henriksen (he/him), Political Chairperson of Copenhagen Pride, said:

“The climate crisis is absolutely an LGBTI+ crisis, and across the world our communities are often affected more severely than others. Displacement, homelessness, poverty, exclusion and poor mental health can all be directly linked to the climate crisis, and it is our responsibility to take a lead in this area.”

Copenhagen Pride and in-house agency Pride Up! have worked to ensure that enough electric vehicles are available to Parade participants this year, though groups can source their electric vehicle from any supplier.

Benjamin Hansen (he/him), Organisational Chairperson of Copenhagen Pride, said:

“We know that environmental concerns rank highly for all our Parade groups, including our valued partners and sponsors, and we are sure that they will welcome the opportunity to join us in setting a global benchmark for how Pride events can contribute to lessening the impact of the climate crisis.” 

Mikkel Aarø-Hansen, Managing Director of Wonderful Copenhagen, welcomed the announcement saying:

“We are working ambitiously with a sustainable transformation of the capital’s tourism across metropolitan tourists, cruises, meetings, congresses and events. It is a complex task that can only be achieved through collaboration and by everyone taking responsibility. That is why it is really gratifying that Pride is now putting action behind its words and at the same time creating a new international standard with its starting point in the capital. Pride’s work with both inclusion, diversity and climate-neutral events matches the destination we purposefully work to make the capital into.”

The Parade – which this year takes place on Saturday 19 August – begins at Frederiksberg Rådhus and makes its way to Copenhagen Rådhus via Pile Allé, Frederiksberg Allé, Vesterbrogade, Hammerichsgade and Vester Voldgade. More than 100 groups will take part with hundreds of thousands participating or spectating on foot.

Lars Henriksen continued:

“The all-electric Parade is just one step we are taking. Our bars have used reusable cups since 2021, we have already banned the sale and use of plastic glitter and confetti, and this year we have changed production of our support wristbands to a factory in Europe to lessen the transport impact. I am proud of the changes we are making and that our whole team is committed to making the green stand out in our rainbow.”

Applications to join the Parade are open now, and close on 19 May 2023.

FAQs on electric Parade

What does the climate crisis have to do with LGBTI+ people? Aren’t you confusing two issues?

There are many issues where LGBTI+ equality and human rights intersect with the climate crisis. We’d recommend reading these articles from Earth Day, Down to Earth and the Carbon Literacy Project

Why are you doing this in 2023 instead of 2024 as planned?

We set 2024 as our target, as that is when we expected to be able to deliver. However, thanks to the support and encouragement of our partners, we are able to go all-electric in 2023. Aside from the environmental impact, this also reduces the fumes to which our spectators and participants are exposed. We become the world’s first all-electric Pride Parade and that is something to celebrate!

What types of vehicles are permitted?

Any electric vehicle is permitted, from a small car up to a big truck. Trailers are permitted and all vehicles must be road-legal to Danish and European standards. 

We have always used a specific supplier for our Parade vehicles, but they don’t have any electric vehicles on their fleet. Can we still use them?

You are welcome to order a vehicle from any supplier of electric vehicles, but no petrol or diesel engines will be permitted. We encourage all suppliers to look to the future and invest in an electric fleet.

Are electric vehicles as safe or reliable as diesel or petrol engines?

Yes, they are fully tested and their safety features equal or better those of the diesel or petrol engines.

Is there a cost difference with an electric vehicle?

Electric vehicles do cost more to purchase and run, and so we expect higher rental costs. However, we know from conversations with our partners that the slight increased cost is outweighed by the overwhelming benefits of lessening the environmental impact.

Is there a discount for non-profits on electric vehicles?

Working with our in-house agency Pride Up we have absorbed some of the increased costs to help non-profit groups take part in the Parade.  

Can you help us source an electric vehicle?

Our in-house agency Pride Up can help. Please email [email protected].

Is a vehicle mandatory?

No! There is no change to the process for walking groups, who are as welcome as ever!

What other measures will you be taking in future years?

Responding to the climate crisis is a journey rather than a destination. As our Pride evolves, so will our considerations for the environment and the impact that we have. And as responsible event organisers, we will look for every opportunity to reduce or remove our impact – from recycling, use of more sustainable materials, and sourcing as locally as possible. We welcome all suggestions for how we can reduce our carbon footprint.

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