City of Genoa marks World Environment Day with climate neutral commitment

Italian city one of three city hubs leading 5 June global day of action in Europe

Genoa, 5 June 2010 - The City of Genoa in northern Italy has marked World Environment Day (WED) by joining a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) network dedicated to organizations with the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets in the world.

Genoa has become the first Italian city to join the Climate Neutral Network (CN Net), a global initiative promoting regional and national action to help combat climate change by achieving climate neutrality at all levels of society.

The CN Net partnership was signed in Genoa today by the Mayor of Genoa, Marta Vincenzi, and UNEP's Deputy Director for Europe, Gaetano Leone, as part of the city's extensive WED celebrations.

Genoa is one of three city hubs leading WED 2010 activities in Europe along side Geneva (Switzerland) and Baku (Azerbaijan), and its events this week include conferences on waste management and biodiversity, and public art and fashion installations made from recycled materials.

Speaking in Genoa today, Mr Leone welcomed the city to CN Net and commended the municipal authority on its commitment to be part of the global effort to catalyze a response to climate change and on its strong support for WED.

"The City of Genoa becomes the 64th European member of the global climate neutral initiative and has the honour of being the second member from Italy, along side the Eco-Way company, making Genoa a leader in Italy in practical efforts to combat climate change," Mr Leone said.

"It's the responsibility of organizations, governments at all levels, communities and civil society to work together to identify the best strategies for the effective mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, hand-in-hand with the efforts of individuals, and that's the cooperative spirit which underpins CN Net.

"World Environment Day is all about empowering communities to take action to protect our planet for future generations and we acknowledge the City of Genoa for its strong support and its timely commitment to CN Net," he said.

The signing ceremony was held during a biodiversity conference, 'Mediterranean: biodiversity library', at which around 200 participants are discussing global strategies and future actions in the International Year of Biodiversity, as part of the city's contribution to WED.

The mayor, Mrs Vincenzi, said the city was proud of its achievements in sustainable mobility, urban planning and design, and of its policies for energy and the sustainable management of the waste cycle. Genoa was one of the first Italian cities to join the 'Covenant of Mayors' in February 2009. The city council is developing further activities to comply with the standards of the Covenant, including approving its new Municipal Energy Plan. The mayor said these actions were consistent with the commitments required by the partnership declaration with CN Net.

"In addition to pursuing a Municipal Energy Plan, Genoa is the first Italian city approving a Municipal Plan for the reduction of waste, starting with the reduction of plastic consumption through to the general use of tap water," Mayor Vincenzi said.

"We are now planning a Waste Museum, designed as a means of promoting cultural and educational activities, including recycling and energy efficiency, and this museum could be both an expression of the green economy and a scientific center, with reference to sustainable consumption and production," she said.

The City of Genoa will now be able to network with other CN Net participants and exchange best practice ideas and the city's climate neutral plans via the CN Net website at www.unep.org/climateneutral.

Marked annually on 5 June, WED is a day for everyone on the planet to 'go green' and encourage greater attention and action on the environment from individuals, organizations and governments.

While thousands of WED 2010 events are planned around the world under the rallying cry 'Many Species, One Planet, One Future' - including in the global host country, Rwanda - the three city hubs of Genoa, Baku and Geneva are leading Europe's celebrations.

In Genoa, a two-day meeting of the Eurocities Working Group on Waste Management to examine waste policies in Europe concluded yesterday (4 June). Also part of the city's contribution to WED 2010 is the Riciclo art installation made from used straws, promoting a recycling message from 31 May-7June in Piazza Matteotti, Palazzo Ducale.

The Wild Wonders of Europe photographic exhibition is also open to the public at Palazzo Ducale from 4-20 June.

The details of planned WED activities in Europe and around the world are available on the official website at: www.unep.org/wed.

Notes to Editors:

Climate Neutral Network (CN Net)

The CN Net was launched in February 2008, by UNEP in cooperation with the UN's Environment Management Group, as one inspiring solution to address climate change and the urgent need to de-carbonize the global economy.

The CN Net is a web-based project seeking to federate the small but growing wave of nations, local authorities and companies who are pledging to significantly reduce emissions en route to zero emission economies, communities and businesses.

With the addition of the City of Genoa, there are now 212 CN Net participants around the world. Within Europe this now includes 40 companies, 19 associations and organizations, and five cities - Copenhagen (Denmark), Arendal (Norway), Växjö (Sweden), Slough (UK) and Genoa (Italy).

The CN Net website provides easily searchable information on increased energy efficiency, reduced emissions and the use of clean and renewable energy. Its information is relevant to sectors as diverse as construction, tourism, agrifood and information and communication technologies. CN Net participants are already achieving significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. As the network grows and expands, so will its contribution to global efforts to combat climate change.

Eco-Way, a climate change consultancy based in Milan, was the first Italian member of CN Net.

For more information visit: http://www.unep.org/climateneutral/

World Environment Day 2010

Marked annually on 5 June, World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations promotes awareness of the environment and encourages widespread attention and action from everyone.

This year's theme is 'Many Species. One Planet. One Future.' - a message focusing on the central importance to humanity of the globe's wealth of species and ecosystems. The WED theme also supports the 2010 UN International Year of Biodiversity.

Another notable event taking place in Italy to mark WED 2010 is CINEAMBIENTE, an environmental film festival in Turin.

WED 2010 - English: www.unep.org/wed; French: www.unep.org/french/wed/2010/; Spanish: www.unep.org/spanish/wed/2010/.

For more information on the International Year of Biodiversity, visit http://www.unep.org/iyb/

For more information please contact:

Julie Marks, UNEP Regional Office for Europe, +41 22 917 84 04 or julie.marks@unep.org

Genoa - Comune di Genoa Press Office, +39 010 557 2277 or comustampa@comune.Genoa.it


 

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