HAMBURG, Germany, December 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Hamburg reflects on a successful year as Europe's Green Capital. The north German metropolis showcased its innovative approach to reducing the city's CO2 emissions. At more than 2,000 events, politicians, entrepreneurs and citizens discussed sustainable urban living. Adults and children alike were encouraged to act more environmentally responsible. 70,000 EU citizens got involved in this process as the "Train of Ideas" visited 18 European cities. As a role model and ambassador, Hamburg sets the bar for urban environmental and climate protection. At the end of the year, the title is being handed over to the Spanish town of Vitoria-Gasteiz.
One of the reasons for Hamburg being awarded the title are its bold climate protection objectives: as a growing business hub with Europe's second-largest container port, Hamburg reduced CO2 emissions by 2007 by 15 percent compared with 1990. Emissions shall be reduced by 40 percent until 2020 compared with 1990. Measures to achieve this include sustainable business, construction and consumption, eco-friendly traffic and nature conservation.
The current results testify to the success of Hamburg's climate protection scheme. Thanks to energy-saving measures funded by the Senate's "Businesses for Resource Protection" programme, 810 Hamburg businesses relieve the climate by saving some 219,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. Heating energy consumption has dropped by 40 percent compared with 1990, causing a 45 percent reduction in CO2 emissions.
In 2011, the number of green energy customers grew considerably: the municipal provider "Hamburg Energie" alone doubled its customer base, and the bike rental system StadtRAD is regularly used by more than 130,000 customers. The waterfront project HafenCity Hamburg is regarded as the international model for sustainable urban development.
Another major success was the awarding of "World Nature Heritage" to the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park by UNESCO. The local citizens' commitment to environmental protection is also visible in Hamburg's cityscape, which is lined by more than 2,600 new trees. These were planted during the "My Tree - My City" campaign.
SOURCE Hamburg Marketing GmbH