Ljubljana becomes European Green Capital 2016 Today, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, officially handed over the title of European Green Capital for 2016 from Bristol to Ljubljana. The European Green Capital Award rewards EU cities’ efforts and commitment to improving the urban environment, boosting awareness of the need for environmental change at the city level. As European Green Capital 2016, Ljubljana will act as ambassador for sustainable urban development, sharing and promoting best practices that have been tried and tested in the Slovenian capital. The Commission is also developing a new voluntary tool which any city can use to benchmark and monitor its environmental performance, based on the 12 criteria used to select Green Capitals. The aim is to invite all European cities to improve their urban environment and quality of life. The tool is expected to be launched in June. Speaking at the handover ceremony in Brussels Commissioner Vella said: “I congratulate Ljubljana for becoming greener, healthier and more sustainable. The title of European Green Capital 2016 is well deserved and it’s a title that brings with it great responsibility. Taking care of the urban environment means taking care of the health and well-being of the people who live in our cities. You have a beautiful city and I hope your efforts and expertise act as an example for other cities.” Ljubljana has put in place a comprehensive set of policies to help deliver a more sustainable city. The capital boasts a vast area of green space (542 m2 per inhabitant). Public transport, pedestrian access and cycling networks (220 km of managed cycling routes) are the backbone of its urban mobility system. With its Zero Waste Strategy, Ljubljana makes a significant contribution to Europe’s transition to a more circular economy. In the new circular economy package adopted in December 2015 the Commission proposed actions that will contribute to “closing the loop” of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use. Here, Ljubljana can act as a role model, as the European capital with the largest share of separately collected waste and actively promoting recycling and re-use.
(Fonte: Commissione Europea Environment)