Lahti - the European Green Capital 2021!
Biggest congratulations to Lahti on the behalf of our Commission and the rest of the UBC!
City of Lahti was awarded the title of European Green Capital 2021 by the European Commission on 20 June 2019 in an award ceremony in Oslo, Norway. Lahti is the first-ever Finnish city to receive the title.
The European Commission sought to recognise a city for its commitment to sustainable urban development, its capacity to act as a role model for other cities and its strategy for communicating and engaging with its citizens.
Lahti was chosen to be the European Green Capital 2021 unanimously by the Judges against its two competitiors Lille (France) and Strasbourg (France). The title brought Lahti a 350,000-euro award for its environmental achievements.
Lahti demonstrates strong environmental know-how in many fields
The City of Lahti is showcasing strong expertise and experience in many fields such as air quality, waste, green growth, eco-innovations and governance. This is supported by the central strategy of City of Lahti established in 2018 called "Bold Green City". The strategy combines many programmes and plans to achieve the goals established for reaching its sustainable urban development aims and targets including mobility, circular economy innovations and protecting the nature and city's water sources. Lahti has also been monitoring and reducing its emissions already since 1997 which has resulted in a significant reduction in emissions since - especially noteworthy are the involvement of local businesses in the air quality monitoring and additional air quality regulations. Furthermore, Lahti's experiences and innovative ideas in promoting green growth and eco-innovation with a strong citizen involvement got acknowledged. Lahti also has developed notable waste system with a selection of treatment infrastructure - including biogas gasification, power plant and sorting plants.
Lahti aims to become carbon neutral by 2025
Lahti is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2025, as the first big city in Finland. Lahti has made a large-scale transition in energy production by stopping the use of coal in the city in April 2019 and spending 180 million euros on a bioenergy plant. The city will launch the world's first-ever personal traffic emissions trading scheme for residents in autumn 2019.
The European Green Capital competition is an invitiative by the European Commission to recognise cities for their efforts and commitment to driving sustainable urban development and making cities better, greener places to live in. The Award is then presented to a city, with more than 100 000 inhabitants, that is at the forefront of environmentally friendly urban living.
Image credits: European Commission, European Green Capital (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/applying-for-the-award/2021-competition/)