Denmark’s capital Copenhagen has been named as 2014’s European Green Capital after beating off competition for the crown from 11 other cities.
Mayor Frank Jensen travelled to Brussels to receive the award, which the European Commission gave to the city because of its ambitious climate plans.
Jensen said the recognition is a “pat on the back” for Copenhagen’s green businesses and the residents, who do what they can on a daily basis to make the city more green and sustainable.
Among the initiatives that caught the attention of the European Commission’s jury was Copenhagen’s efforts to become carbon neutral by 2025, encourage its residents to cycle, and ensure people are offered more access to nature areas.
European Union environment minister Janez Potocnik said other European cities could learn from the Danish capital’s climate efforts and the quality of life its residents lead. He explained that the award recognises the significant efforts Copenhagen is making to improve its urban areas and create a healthier, more sustainable city for Copenhageners.
Climate Minister Martin Lidegaard described the city as an “example for cities around the world”. He said it is crucial there are cities, citizens and businesses that will step forward and show others how to fight climate change.
Copenhagen plans to celebrate its new title by staging a number of events next year. The events will start at City Hall Square, Radhuspladsen, on 22 January, and in other public areas in the inner city. The city’s council will publish a full list of events at the start of next year.