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Oslo’s Mayor Says London’s Trafalgar Square’s Christmas Tree Must Cut Its Carbon Footprint

Norway and London have a long standing holiday tradition in which Norway sends London a Christmas tree for Trafalgar Square as a way of thanking Britain for its support during World War 2. 

Anne Lindboe, the newly elected mayor of Oslo, Norway’s Capital, has recently stated that she’s looking for new ways to reduce the tree and its transport’s carbon footprint. 

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Every year a tree that’s around 60 feet tall is transported from the woodlands near Oslo to Trafalgar Square by road and sea. A month after Christmas, the tree is then turned to wood chips, which Lindboe claims is hardly environmentally friendly. 

“It’s very important for us to continue the tradition. Now it’s maybe even more important to have these good relationships between cities and between people,” Lindboe said.

“But at the same time, we have to make sure that the carbon footprint is as low as possible. So that is also something we have to take into consideration: how to decrease it as much as possible.”

Since transportation is such a major factor, Lindboe suggested that they could instead give a tree that was grown in Britain, which citizens weren’t a fan of, so she explained that she’s considering how to adjust the transportation of the tree.

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Some Norwegian media outlets have also suggested that they simply end the tradition in general. City council votes on continuing the tradition every few years, and are set to do so again next year, however, Lindboe says there’s no serious talks about discontinuing the gifting of a tree to London. 

“I haven’t heard anyone in the city council saying that we should not continue. And … as the mayor of Oslo, this is really important, so I can promise that I will do everything I can to make sure that this tradition continues,” Lindboe added.

The tree itself also garners criticism every year due to its overall look, with some citizens this year claiming the tree looked “half dead,” according to the Guardian. However, Lindboe says that the criticism doesn’t really impact whether or not the tradition should end, and making fun of its appearance is even part of it.

“It’s part of the tradition isn’t it? That you should criticize the tree. We like to criticize, particularly if there’s something we’re really fond of. That’s really important to us.”

“It’s a natural-looking tree from a natural forest, not one of these cultivated Christmas trees that you sometimes see, which are more ‘perfect’, but maybe not so natural,” the mayor added.