The Green City Accord is a movement of European mayors committed to making cities cleaner and healthier. It aims to improve the quality of life of all Europeans, and accelerate the implementation of relevant EU environmental laws. By signing the Accord, cities commit to addressing five areas of environmental management: air, water, nature and biodiversity, circular economy and waste, and noise.
The Accord will be launched and opened for mayors to sign on 22 October 2020, during the European Week of Regions and Cities.
What is the Green City Accord?
Objectives and scope
Cities are critical to meeting the EU's environmental objectives. Many successful actions have already been taken at city level, but further efforts are necessary to tackle rising environmental challenges.
Green City Accord signatories endorse a shared vision of the urban future where
By 2030, cities will be attractive places to live, work and invest in, and will support Europeans’ health and well-being. All Europeans will breathe clean air, enjoy clean water, have access to parks and green spaces, and experience less environmental noise. The circular economy will become a reality and waste will be minimised thanks to greater reuse, repair and recycling.
Signatory cities will commit to tackling the most urgent environmental challenges facing their cities. By joining the Accord, mayors agree to step up their efforts in five key areas by 2030:
- air: significant improvement in air quality by moving closer to respecting the WHO’s air quality guidelines and ending exceedances of EU air quality standards as soon as possible
- water: making significant progress in improving the quality of water bodies and the efficiency of water use
- nature and biodiversity: considerably increasing the extent and quality of green areas in their cities, including by restoring urban ecosystems
- circular economy and waste: advancing towards the circular economy, by significantly improving the management of household municipal waste and recycling, and reducing the generation of waste
- noise: significantly reducing noise pollution in cities and moving closer to WHO recommended levels
In each of these areas, signatories commit to:
- establishing baseline levels and setting ambitious targets that go beyond minimum requirements set by EU laws within two years of signing
- implementing policies and programmes in an integrated manner, to achieve their targets by 2030
- reporting on implementation and progress every three years
Why cities should join?
By signing the Green City Accord, cities will become part of a growing movement to safeguard the natural environment and improve the quality of life of Europeans. Cities will also be supporting the European Green Deal and the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In particular, cities will:
- gain Europe-wide visibility in recognition of their environmental actions and achievements
- contribute to shaping EU environmental policy
- become part of a community of like-minded cities driving the transition towards a clean and healthy Europe
- increase their transparency, accountability and credibility within the local community
- gain access to EU funding opportunities
- participate in networking events and benefit from capacity-building opportunities
- receive tailored guidance and support via a dedicated helpdesk
- benchmark their achievements against progress made in other cities
For more information, see our brochure
Who is eligible?
In the first phase, the Green City Accord is open to any city located in the European Union, whatever their size and whatever the status of their environmental performance. Cities in European Economic Area countries and in Switzerland will be able to join in the second phase. Other cities in the wider European region may be eligible to join at a later stage.
For this initiative, the term “city” means an urban area, such as a community, a town, or a city with an administrative unit governed by a city council or another form of democratically elected body. This includes large metropolitan areas, as well as smaller urban areas.
How to join?
The Mayor or equivalent Council representative signs the Accord’s political declaration.
There are only two steps to join:
- The Accord is presented to the municipal council (or equivalent decision-making body).
- Once an official resolution has been adopted by the council, the Green City Accord political commitment document is electronically signed by the Mayor – or equivalent representative of the council.
When to join?
The Accord will be launched (and opened for signatures) on 22 October 2020, during the European Week of Regions and Cities. It will remain open, enabling local authorities to sign the Accord online.
Several EU funding programmes and financing instruments are available to support cities in developing and implementing environmental actions.
- European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
- Cohesion Fund
- Urban Innovative Actions
- INTERREG Europe
- Horizon 2020
- Horizon Europe
- European Green Capital and Green Leaf Awards
Further resources on EU funding:
Frequently Asked Questions
For more information and any questions concerning the planning, implementation and monitoring of the Accord, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org