Fifty major European cities are going the extra mile for the environment by joining the European Commission’s Green City Accord.
Alba Iulia (Romania), Košice (Slovakia) and Grenoble (France), the European Green Capital 2022, all made their commitment official this month. These cities join other signatories in setting ambitious targets to tackle air, water and noise pollution, protect nature and biodiversity and to improve waste management and support the circular economy.
Now, mayors across Europe are explaining why more cities should join the ever-growing list of signatories of the Accord.
Quality of life
Valencia, Spain’s third largest city, signed the Accord in May and has been making great progress towards environmental protection, by improving air quality, extending pedestrian zones and by increasing green areas by more than 300,000 square metres.
Joan Ribó, Mayor of Valencia, said that his city’s commitment to the Accord was a step to ensure a good quality of life for citizens.
“This is a network of cities that want to put environmental sustainability and, ultimately, the defence of the environment at the centre of their policies – green, sustainable policies – to have a better city, a city where neighbours have a great quality of life,” said the Mayor.
“When local governments take ambitious measures in these areas, cities are more sustainable and attractive to citizens,” he said.
Ribó added that committing to the Accord also contributes to other EU environment and climate goals, such as the Green Deal.
A like-minded network
Cities that sign up to the Accord are expected to set ambitious environmental targets that are to be achieved by 2030.
The targets should go above and beyond the minimum requirements set by EU laws, and cities are expected to report on implementation and progress every three years.
Any city in an EU member state that has more than 20,000 inhabitants is eligible to sign the Accord.
Eurocities, ICLEI Europe and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) support the European Commission in developing and implementing the Accord.
For more information and to learn how your city can sign the Accord, visit its website.