Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by C. Spahrbier

European Green Capital Network Launches Call for Action for Sustainable Cities

In light of the latest IPCC assessment report, which states that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees requires rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, 20 cities from across Europe – members of the European Green Capital Network – have come together to sign a joint call for action to enhance sustainability in all cities around the world.

The call for action, which was signed on 23 November in the European Green Capital 2018, Nijmegen (Netherlands), aims to inspire cities worldwide to become more sustainable and climate-resilient by creating a green movement. It will be presented at the global climate conference #COP24 in Katowice (Poland) on 10 December 2018.

Through the call for action the supporting cities aim to promote partnerships at all levels – local, regional, national and international – in a joint effort to tackle sustainability issues, including economic, social and ecological challenges. Through sharing lessons learned and practical experiences, the supporting cities are eager to increase their impact and legacy by inspiring the green movement in cities worldwide.

The call for action will also help supporting cities achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement, related targets by the Covenant of Mayors and local government-led initiatives such as the Basque Declaration.

The following 20 cities endorsed the call for action: Amsterdam (Netherlands), Barcelona (Spain), Bristol (United Kingdom), Copenhagen (Denmark), Essen (Germany), Freiburg (Germany), Ghent (Belgium), Hamburg (Germany), ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands), Lahti (Finland), Lisbon (Portugal), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Malmö (Sweden), Nantes (France), Nijmegen (The Netherlands), Nürnberg (Germany), Oslo (Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), Umeå (Sweden) and Vitoria Gasteiz (Spain).

Opening the signing meeting, Mayor Bruls of Nijmegen said “Approximately three quarters of the European population lives in urban areas, and the urban population is expected to continue to grow in the years to come.  These are huge figures and they emphasise the importance of making our cities healthy places to live in. In this global age of urbanisation we cannot address environmental issues by ourselves. We need to exchange visions, best practices and knowledge with other cities in Europe in order to find solutions. Cities have to create networks and become more involved in creating and implementing national and European policies. But our commitment to sustainability cannot just stem from government initiatives, the involvement of citizens and other stakeholders is a must if we want to make our cities more sustainable and reduce CO2 emissions to the agreed level of 1,5 degree Celcius.”

For more information and to read the Call for Action in full, click here.