Depending on the size of the city three awards were given among the 7000 cities and regions that have decided to become a part of the EU’s framework to deal with climate change and energy optimization in a cooperation with companies, citizens and other actors, and Sonderborg municipality won this award for being the best role model among the middle-sized cities in Europe. Barcelona won the price for the European capitol and Monsano (Italy) won the award for the smaller cities.
“I am very proud and excited for the award, and I view it as a major pat on the back for all of us in the Sonderborg area who make an effort in order to achieve the goal of becoming CO2-neutral by 2029. We have received colossal support from citizens, housing associations, companies, educational institutions and a city council for our local green transition. Due to the strong partnership with the Danfoss-foundation and the SE-utility company, we have achieved many concrete results and effects” says the mayor of Sonderborg, Erik Lauritzen, who along with the award received an invitation to participate in COP24 in Poland, as accredited by the EU-commission.
ProjectZero is the name of the project that makes the Sonderborg-area CO2 neutral in 2029 and CEO Peter Rathje views the award as a recognition of it having been possible to include everyone in the Sonderborg area and the results thereof.
“The EU is focusing on the local engagement, concrete actions as well as what cities and citizens can do together in order to succeed in the necessary local green transition. We have created solid results that can inspire others now that we are getting closer to the 50% CO2-reduction since 2007. We already share our experiences with both national and European role models and we are willing to, both, continue the effort along with helping and inspiring others”, says Peter Rathje.
The award was announced Wednesday afternoon by the European commissioner for Climate and Energy, Migyel Aria Cañete. This happened at the same time with the mayor and 35 representatives for utility companies, housing associations and educational institutions among others met in order to make the last additions to ProjectZero’s Roadmap2025-process and plan towards 2025, where the Sonderborg area is to reduce its CO2-emissions by 75%.