The prestigious European Green Capital Award for 2021 has been awarded to the Finnish city of Lahti. Ireland’s city of Limerick, along with Mechelen, in Belgium, were awarded the European Green Leaf 2020 title for smaller cities. All received their honours at a ceremony in Oslo, the current European Green Capital.

Lahti won the European Commission’s award, which comes with a €350k ‘financial incentive’, for its excellence in the ‘fields of air quality, waste, green growth and eco-innovation, as well as governance’.

“I congratulate Lahti for winning this tough competition at such a pivotal time for our planet. The European Green Capital 2021 title brings a lot of responsibility to be a strong role model for cities across Europe, as we all work together to preserve and restore our planet and tackle climate change.  Lahti has the environmental credibility and passion to embrace that responsibility and be an inspiring international leader,” said Karmenu Vella, the EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.