COPENHAGEN, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Copenhagen was named the 2014 European green capital on Thursday after earning top marks for its green initiatives, the Copenhagen City Council said.
Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen accepted the award by the European Commission on Thursday morning in Brussels at a ceremony that launched a year of green festivities and events to be held in order to cement Copenhagen's leading role in the transition to green energy, said the city council.
"It's a major recognition of Copenhagen's efforts to do something about climate change that we can now can call ourselves Europe's green capital. It's a big pat on the back for everyone who lives in Copenhagen and the city's businesses that day in and day out do what they can to make Copenhagen a greener, more sustainable city," said Jensen.
Copenhagen's efforts to increase the number of cyclists, become carbon neutral by 2025 and ensure the city's residents good access to green spaces were particularly highly regarded by the European Commission and helped the city secure the green capital title.
"Europe has much to learn a lot from Copenhagen's efforts to improve environmental sustainability, and from the quality of life its citizens enjoy," said EU environment commissioner Janez Potocnik.
"This award recognizes Copenhagen as a city that is making substantial efforts to improve the urban environment, and to provide a healthier and more sustainable way of living. I look forward to their full program of events related to the title, and I wish them the best of luck," the commissioner said.
The Copenhagen City Council is collaborating with 75 partner organizations and businesses to produce a program to mark the year as green capital, and which will include events for the city's residents as well as for climate professionals. The program will be published at the beginning of January.
"Copenhagen sets a great example for other cities as they increasingly look for green initiatives. Copenhagen is a green city in a green country," said Danish Minister for Climate Energy and Buildings Martin Lidegaard.
Copenhagen will kick off the year as green capital on January 22, when a party celebrating the award is held on the central City Hall Square as well as in other public spaces.
The European green capital has been previously awarded to Stockholm, Hamburg and, most recently, Nantes.