Lahti, Mechelen and Limerick win the European Green City Awards
European Commission Daily News – 21.06.2019
Source: Press release European Commission
The Finnish city of Lahti is the winner of the European Commission’s European Green Capital Award for 2021. The title of European Green Leaf 2020 for smaller cities went to the Belgian city of Mechelen and Irish Limerick. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, awarded these prestigious titles at the official awards ceremony held yesterday in Oslo, Norway – the current European Green Capital, while Lisbon will be the Green Capital in 2020. Apart from the title, Lahti receives a €350k financial incentive from the European Commission to kick-start its European Green Capital year. Lahti was particularly strong in the fields of air quality, waste, green growth and eco-innovation, as well as governance. Commissioner Vella said: “I congratulate Lahti for winning this tough competition at such a pivotal time for our planet. The European Green Capital 2021 title brings a lot of responsibility to be a strong role model for cities across Europe, as we all work together to preserve and restore our planet and tackle climate change. Lahti has the environmental credibility and passion to embrace that responsibility and be an inspiring international leader. I also congratulate Lille and Strasbourg, for getting this far in the competition – I wish you well in your continuous sustainable journey to make your cities fit for life.” The European Green Capital Award is awarded annually to a European city with over 100,000 inhabitants that has shown itself to be a leader in environmental, social and economic sustainability.It aims to recognise the environmental achievements of European cities and to inspire others to take positive action in making their cities fit for life. The first European Green Capital was awarded in 2010 and with this edition, twelve cities have been awarded the title thus far. Additionally, the European Green Leaf Awards are given to towns and cities with populations between 20,000 to 100,000 citizens, for their potential to act as a ‘green ambassadors’ for smaller cities. Being a European Green Capital or a European Green Leaf brings many benefits including, a greater focus on environmental projects, increased tourism and foreign investment, boosting the local economy and helping to create employment. More information is available in a news item.