Essen Becomes the European Green Capital for 2017
The town of Essen in Germany officially became the European Green Capital for 2017 on January 21.
In a ceremony, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella and Essen Mayor Thomas Kufen reportedly launched the title year together in the handover of the title for 2017 from Ljubljana to Essen.
“With more than two thirds of Europeans living in towns or cities, addressing environmental challenges is of outmost importance for the health and wellbeing of citizens,” the Commission said in a press release on January 20. The European Green Capital Award rewards efforts and commitment in improving the urban environment, boosting awareness of the need for environmental change at the city level.
“I congratulate Essen on becoming European Green Capital 2017 and making the city a healthier place to live in,” Vella was quoted as saying in the press release. “The impressive transformation from coal and steel industry to the greenest city in North Rhine-Westphalia is proof of Essen’s successful structural change. Great progress in environmental sustainability required vision, good governance, strong leadership and citizens’ involvement. I look forward to Essen’s programme of activities, and I wish Mayor Kufen, his team, the people of Essen the very best,” the Commissioner added.