When welcoming the new signatories on board, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius highlighted the commitment of the cities that signaled their intention to make improvements in five key environmental areas - air, water, nature and biodiversity, circular economy, and waste, and noise:
“Today, it’s all about you. Europe needs (...) cities and mayors who are determined to involve local stakeholders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and young people to build a better, greener future… Today’s event is a milestone reflecting the spirit of our partnership. It shows that we can go forward together, building a greener environment where the quality of life matters."
The ceremony, which fell a year after the initiative’s launch, provided a key opportunity for mayors and city leaders to reaffirm their commitment and to enhance engagement.
Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions and Governor of the Greek region of Central Macedonia, underscored the importance of the Green City Accord as it prioritises leaders at the local level to build a cleaner and healthier Europe for all citizens:
“The green energy transition and preservation of our precious environment will happen in our cities, regions and villages, or it will not happen at all. The Green City Accord demonstrates the level of local ambition, local commitment, and local leadership found across Europe, determined to protect our planet and leave a sustainable future for our people."
Eelco Eerenberg, Deputy Mayor of Utrecht, Netherlands underlined the significance of the Green City Accord in leveraging local change in five areas that are essential to the quality of life. Meanwhile, Emmyly Bönfors, Deputy Mayor of Gothenburg, Sweden, and Vesna Baltina, Deputy Mayor of Strategic Development, Ecology, Digitalisation and Adaptation to Climate Change of Burgas, Bulgaria, raised points about the integrated approach of the Green City Accord and how such an approach was needed to reflect legislation at the national and EU levels.
Ritva Viljanen, Mayor of Vantaa, Finland, Matteo Campora, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Sustainability of Genova, Italy and Linda Ozola, Deputy Chairman of the Riga City Council, Latvia, and others, mentioned that the Green City Accord was transformative as it places European cities at the heart of solving environmental issues that affect people’s everyday life.
Valdas Benkunskas, Deputy Mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, Cecilia Del Re, Deputy Mayor of Florence, Italy, and Hélène Dromain, Vice President of Métropole de Lyon also participated in the ceremony by signing the Green City Accord on behalf of their cities.
The Green City Accord is a movement of European cities committed to safeguarding the environment. In signing the Green City Accord, city leaders agree to take further action to protect the natural environment and to achieve ambitious goals by 2030 in five important areas: air, water, nature & biodiversity, waste & circular economy, and noise.
Eurocities, ICLEI Europe, and CEMR are supporting the European Commission in developing and implementing the Green City Accord.
- Publication date
- 24 September 2021
- Directorate-General for Environment