Green City Accord - A European Commission initiative to make cities greener, cleaner and healthier!
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 Green City Accord was launched during the European Week of Regions and Cities and is open for mayors to sign.
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: considerable progress inconserving and enhancing urban biodiversity, including through an
- circular economy and waste: advance towards thecircular economy by securing a significant improvement in the management
- 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 DealSearch for available translations of the preceding linkEN••• 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 information concerning 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
Who is eligible?
The Green City Accord is open to any city located in the European Union. The term “city” means an urban area with an administrative unit governed by a city council or another form of democratically elected body. This includes large metropolitan areas, as well as agglomerations.
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.
Sign the commitment document
The Green City Accord can be signed at any time. Please note that only the Mayor (or equivalent representative) can sign.
There are only two steps to become a signatory:
- The Accord is presented to the municipal council (or equivalent decision-making body).
- Once an official resolution has been adopted by the council, the Mayor – or equivalent representative – signs the Green City Accord