The helpdesk provides technical support. This includes answering queries related to planning, implementation, and monitoring of a city’s actions.
The helpdesk can provide new signatories with a range of guiding materials developed in the inception phase of the Green City Accord, best practices for inspiration, links to existing tools, guidance documents and advice on appropriate EU funding support. It will also provide cities and other interested stakeholders with a direct line of contact to the GCA secretariat.
EU environment policies have significantly improved the state of the environment and have raised environmental standards across EU countries.
The majority of Europeans consider the protection of the environment important, and as more than 70% of the EU’s population live in urban areas, cities play an important role in meeting the EU’s environmental objectives and in helping the EU to become a more sustainable region.
The European Commission launched the Green City Accord in October 2020 to encourage cities to take further action to protect the environment and thereby improve the quality of life of their citizens.
The initiative has grown to more than 100 cities and more than 30 supporting organisations.
The majority of cities will now enter the next phase and start reporting on their baseline assessments together with action plans to improve all key indicators up to 2030 and beyond. As every effort counts, there is no deadline to join the network!
Cities of 20,000 inhabitants and above located in the European Union are eligible to apply.
Mayors – or equivalent representatives of the respective councils - should sign the political commitment. They should be committed to making their city cleaner and healthier, and interested in giving their environmental efforts visibility.
After signing the Accord, the city has two years to submit a baseline report. This report should contain:
- Information on the baseline situation (e.g. levels of relevant pollutants at the time of joining the Accord) in each of the five areas
- The targets which the city has set for itself to meet by 2030 (these targets may be qualitative or quantitative)
- An overview of the next steps (measures and actions) the city intends to take in order to achieve the targets
The city is required to report on progress every three years through an easy-to-use online tool.
Cities can make use of existing data if they match the 15 GCA indicators.
The timeframe for achieving the locally defined targets is 2030.
All signatories will use these 15 indicators for reporting purposes. To facilitate the reporting, the indicators are consistent with those required by EU legislation in each of the fields. Cities may also use alternative defined indicators to monitor progress.
After signing the Accord, the city has two years to submit a first baseline report containing information on the baseline situation, the targets which the city has set for itself to meet by 2030 and an overview of the measures that the city intends to take to achieve the targets. After the submission of the baseline report, the city is required to report on progress every three years. For more details about monitoring and reporting, please consult question 4.
The helpdesk provides technical support. This includes answering queries related to planning, implementation and monitoring of a city’s actions.
The helpdesk will also provide access to materials such as best practices for inspiration, links to existing tools, guidance documents and advice on appropriate EU funding support.
The European Green Capital (EGCA) and European Green Leaf (EGLA) Awards are given each year to cities leading the way in environmentally friendly urban living. Given that Green City Accord cities will take stringent action to enhance the protection of the environment, signatories will have a ‘competitive advantage’ when applying for these awards.
ECGA and EGLA winners receive a financial prize, which has recently been increased (the EGCA winning city will receive €600 000, while up to two EGLA winning towns or cities will receive €200 000 each). Winners and shortlisted cities also gain access to the European Green Capital Network, providing them with additional support and a platform for sharing knowledge and best practices.
Yes. By signing the Accord, a city commits to addressing all five areas: air, water, nature and biodiversity, circular economy and waste, and noise. Cities can prioritise certain areas. For example, a city that has already taken steps to improve air quality beyond the minimum standards set by EU laws can prioritise addressing water quality and efficiency, by identifying further actions or measures to achieve this goal.
The prioritisation of areas will need to be identified in the early stages (post signature). Cities will still need to set targets for all areas and report accordingly, including on a small set of prescribed common indicators.
There is no fee associated with joining the Green City Accord.
The Green City Accord is an initiative for local governments. Other organisations, such as associations and networks of cities and regions, regional and national authorities, universities, business associations, federations or NGOs, are encouraged to support the initiative.
The supporters can mobilise cities to become signatories, and assist them to implement their Green City Accord commitments. If your organisation is interested in becoming a Green City Accord supporter, please fill in the followingregistration form
The Green City Accord and the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy are two separate but complementary initiatives. The Covenant of Mayors focusses on climate change mitigation and adaptation and the alleviation of energy poverty. The Green City Accord addresses five environmental areas which are not the primary focus of the Covenant of Mayors: improving air and water quality, conserving and enhancing urban biodiversity, making progress towards the circular economy and improving waste management, and reducing noise in cities.
The two initiatives will cooperate with each other in order to foster synergies.
The Green City Accord is a European Commission initiative. The secretariat is currently run by the Directorate-General for the Environment.