Norwegian capital city Oslo officially began its year as the 2019 European Green Capital on Friday.
Raymond Johansen, Governing Mayor of Oslo, said: “We are very proud to officially become the 2019 European Green Capital. Combatting and adapting to climate change is the greatest challenge of our time and it can’t be left to someone else, at another time, in another place. In 2019, we want to invite the world to Oslo – to share and to learn together. We aim to use our European Green Capital year to spread knowledge, inspire and mobilise our citizens and businesses to make more environmentally friendly choices.”
During its tenure as 2019 European Green Capital, Oslo will be expected to act as an ambassador for sustainable urban developments, aiming to inspire other cities and Member States through exemplary implementation of progressive environmental policies. More than 350 disparate events, ranging from large international conferences to small local meetings, have been planned throughout the year.
European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “Any city can dream of being green, but it takes determination and political leadership to find solutions for the big environmental challenges we are facing today. That is what makes Oslo special. In a country known for its wealth of energy resources, Oslo is making great strides in transitioning to a society free of fossil fuel emissions. Its success in increasing public transport and prioritising people over cars is truly inspiring. Today’s events show how Oslo is approaching its role as 2019 European Green Capital [by] actively seeking to inspire and motivate other cities to go green.”
Oslo made its case for the 2019 European Green Capital award through an array of green initiatives, including fuelling its buses and refuse trucks with gas produced from bio-waste; creating a comprehensive infrastructure to support uptake of cycling and public transport; and fostering participation of citizens and businesses in sustainability programmes. The city aims to be fully carbon neutral by 2050.