The Green City Accord, a new environmental initiative to improve air and water quality, conserve and enhance nature & biodiversity, advance the circular economy, and reduce noise in cities was launched today by the European Commission during a high-level event at the European Week of Regions and Cities. Mayors and other local political leaders representing Seville (Spain), Florence (Italy), Lille (France), Porto (Portugal) and Freiburg (Germany) expressed their strong support for the Green City Accord. Other keynote speakers were Joanna Drake, Deputy Director-General and Claudia Fusco, Head of Unit both from the European Commission’s Environment DG. Anna Lisa Boni, Secretary General of EUROCITIES moderated the session.
From today on, the European Commission formally invites mayors in the European Union to join the Green City Accord, and to commit to higher ambition to make their cities cleaner, healthier and more resource-efficient by 2030. Stepping up local action will also help accelerate the implementation of the EU’s environment legislation and support attaining the environmental ambitions of the European Green Deal. In turn, the European Commission will support cities by providing networking and funding opportunities and by facilitating closer communication between EU and local policy-makers.
Joanna Drake, Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission, said that “Local governments are essential partners in achieving sustainable urban development and key players in addressing pollution, in managing waste sustainably and in supporting the transition to a Circular Economy.
Juan Espadas Cejas, Mayor of Seville and Chair of the Commission for the Environment, Climate change and Energy of the European Committee of the Regions remarked that “the transition towards greener cities and to a more sustainable environment will only be possible if local governments take on more responsibility.”
Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence, Italy, said that “EU legislation sets a high standard for protecting the environment – rightly so”, and invited his peers to take action, by saying: ”as city leaders we can do a lot locally to pursue ambitious green policies. The EU cannot achieve its ambitious goals without mayors and citties".
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.
EUROCITIES, ICLEI Europe and CEMR are supporting the European Commission in developing and implementing the Accord.
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