Limerick has been awarded the title of European Green Leaf 2020 for smaller cities alongside the Belgian city of Mechelen.
Meanwhile, the Finnish city of Lahti took home the European Commission’s European Green Capital Award for 2021.
EU COmmissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella awarded the titles at the official awards ceremony in Oslo, Norway.
Vella said: “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. I also congratulate Lille and Strasbourg, for getting this far in the competition – I wish you well in your continuous sustainable journey to make your cities fit for life.”
Limerick was commended for its ongoing investments leading to improved air quality and noise levels in the city and recognised for its development of noise maps and action plans.
Limerick is now the second Irish city to ever be awarded the prize since its inaugeration in 2015, with Galway earning the title in 2017.