The Norwegian capital of Oslo on Friday took over as European Green Capital, highlighting its aim to reduce emissions.
Oslo’s approach to conserving its natural areas and restoring its waterway network was cited among the reasons for the 2019 award,created by the EU Commission.
“People want clean air, they want access to nature, and they want calm, even in a city centre,” said Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the opening ceremony.
“Your determination to improve public transport infrastructure,protect habitats, and encourage cycling and electric vehicles will do exactly that, with real benefits for citizens,” he added.
Oslo has stated that it aims to slash emissions by 50 per cent by 2020, compared to 1990.
As part of efforts to achieve that aim, the city has pushed for zero emissions transportation and in 2016 introduced a “climate budget”that counts carbon dioxide emissions.
Oslo deputy mayor Lan Marie Nguyen Berg of the Green Party underlinedthe important role cities have in contributing to reduce emissions that drive climate change.
Better policies helps save the environment for the future as well as”making cities better to live in today,” she said.
Monica Maeland, minister for local government and modernisation,highlighted how electric-powered vehicles account for a third of all new cars sold in Oslo.
Oslo took over from the Dutch city of Nijmegen.
The Swedish capital, Stockholm, and the Danish capital of Copenhagen have also held the rotating title. — dpa