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Expert Voices: Ritt Bjerregaard, former Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, on her role as a judge for the City Climate Leadership Awards

Once again I have had the honour to serve as a judge for the C40 & Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards, taking place during Climate Week NYC in September.

Over the past few months, the other judges and I have read and evaluated no less than 31 shortlisted projects – chosen from 87 total entries – from all over the world representing different sectors and city approaches.

Going through the different projects, I have been truly inspired and impressed by the important initiatives taking place in cities as different as Copenhagen and Beijing, Mexico City and New York.

But despite the obvious differences among the cities, the most striking thing is what they have in common: ambitious and fascinating initiatives to combat the climate changes facing us all.

We know cities play an important role in combating climate change, and that cities are experts when it comes to resolving concrete problems. Cities are also the implementers of solutions that work on the social level as well as on the environmental. This responsibility is very much reflected in each of the shortlisted city initiatives I reviewed.

Cities don’t have the time to sit around – they act. While countries debate whether or not to install wind turbines – offshore or in remote areas – Copenhagen is, for instance, building them right here in our capital. Three windmills were recently inaugurated in a Copenhagen neighbourhood, and the city plans to add another 97. This is a concrete initiative that will have a direct impact on the Copenhagen Climate Plan goal to become carbon neutral by 2025. And it is also a concrete initiative to create a more sustainable community for all Copenhageners.

Both myself and my successor, The Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen have a very ambitious commitment to make Copenhagen a green and sustainable city. And we agree that going green and focusing on reducing CO2 emissions isn’t just a good thing, it is simply a necessity!

These global, ambitious and green initiatives are the reason why I have decided to get involved in the C40 & Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards once again. I am very excited about the event in New York on 22 September. Here we will showcase the different categories and city projects and of course the winners from each category. I hope these city projects can serve as inspiration for the rest of the world’s cities.

To cast your vote for the Citizen’s Choice Award, click here.