Launching event of the Green City Accord

Thu 22, October 2020
11:30 - 13:00 CET
https://euregionsweek2020-video.eu/video/launching ...

The Green City Accord (currently in preparation) will mobilise cities to engage in more ambitious action towards fulfilling the requirements of the EU's environment acquis and will also support the delivery of the European Green Deal's environment ambition. The Accord will in a first phase engage a community of cities willing to undertake further commitments to improving air and water quality, waste management, noise pollution and to enhance the protection of their green areas. The Green City Accord will set ambitious goals in each of these areas which the cities will take ownership of. The main hope is that green cities will become a reality and that as a result, the health of Europe's citizens will improve.


Anna Lisa Boni, Secretary General, EUROCITIES, Belgium.
Filipe Araujo, Vice-Mayor in charge of environment and innovation, Porto Municipality, Portugal.
Joanna Drake, Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission, Belgium.
Juan Espadas Cejas, Alcalde, Ayuntamiento de Sevilla, Spain.
Claudia Fusco, Head of Environmental Knowledge, Eco-Innovation and SMEs Unit, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission, Belgium.
Martin Horn, Mayor of Freiburg, City of Freiburg, Germany.
Audrey Linkenheld, Lille Metropole Vice President and Lille Deputy Mayor in charge of climate transition and energy, Lille Metropole and the city of Lille, France.
Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence, City of Florence, Italy.
Green Europe
Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), Eurocities, European Commission, European Committee of the Regions - ENVE Commission, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
English (EN), Español (ES), Français (FR)

Session summary

This event saw the launch of the Green City Accord, a new European Commission initiative to improve air and water quality, conserve and enhance nature and biodiversity, improve waste management and advance the circular economy, and reduce noise in cities. The Accord will bring together mayors committed to taking ambitious action in these five areas.

In their opening speeches, Juan Espadas (Mayor of Seville and Chair of the European Committee of the Regions' Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy) and Joanna Drake (Deputy-Director General, DG Environment, European Commission) emphasised the essential role of cities in achieving Europe's environmental goals.

Claudia Fusco (DG Environment, European Commission) explained the Accord's vision, the goals to be achieved by 2030, the reporting obligations entailed and the benefits of joining the movement.

Dario Nardella (Mayor of Florence), Filipe Araujo (Deputy Mayor of Porto), Audrey Linkenheld (Vice-President of Lille Métropole and Deputy Mayor of Lille) and Martin Horn (Mayor of Freiburg) welcomed the Green City Accord, underscored their strong support for the initiative and presented inspiring environmental actions from their cities.

Take away message

The Green City Accord recognises cities as key partners in the transition to a more sustainable Europe. Mayors across the EU are invited to join this new initiative and commit to taking ambitious action to make their cities cleaner and healthier by 2030. Signatory cities will gain access to capacity-building and networking opportunities, expert advice via a dedicated helpdesk, and international visibility for their environmental efforts.

"The specific environmental policies included in the Green City Accord need strong local expertise and increased citizen awareness, but also firm political commitments. The Committee of the Regions is ready to support the European Commission in strengthening such political commitments from the EU's local and regional authorities."  Mayor Juan Espadas

"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." – Joanna Drake

"EU legislation sets a high standard for protecting the environment  and rightly so. As city leaders we can do a lot locally to pursue ambitious green policies. The EU cannot achieve its ambitious goals without mayors and cities." – Mayor Dario Nardella

"The Accord (...) provides the opportunity to share ideas and learn from each other (…). I strongly welcome this new, important initiative. I hope that many cities will join and make the Green City Accord a driving force for greener cities – and thus for a greener Europe at large." – Mayor Martin Horn