Romania launches “Green Friday” campaign to reduce pollution
BUCHAREST, March 12 — Romania on Friday launched the “Green Friday” campaign proposed by the Environment Ministry in an effort to reduce pollution in big cities.
To lead by example, Prime Minister Florin Citu walked to his office in the capital’s Victoria Palace. “I do this very often, I’m glad you don’t know every time I do this, otherwise I would attract too much attention,” the prime minister told local reporters waiting at the palace’s entrance.
He said he would walk the 15-minute distance from home to work more often as the weather gets warmer, and appealed to other cabinet members to follow suit.
Citu said he also expected Bucharest to become “more friendly for cyclists.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of bicycles sold in Romania has increased significantly. The country’s largest bicycle factory Eurosport DHS, part-owned by Chinese and German businessmen, saw its sales increase by nearly 50 percent year-on-year in 2020.
The “Green Friday” initiative is the brainchild of Environment Minister Barna Tanczos. On the first Green Friday, the minister took the subway to work, while several ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister Dan Barna and Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu, also gave up driving to work.
Bucharest, just like several other major cities in Europe, has been struggling with heavy traffic congestions and pollution in recent years.
Earlier this week, local media quoted the latest 2020 Global Traffic Scorecard published by INRIX, a world leader in transportation analytics, confirming Bucharest as the most congested city globally, with drivers losing 134 hours a year in traffic jams.
By the end of this year, “Green Friday” aims to convince at least one in four Bucharest inhabitants to walk or bike to work or take public transportation on the last working day of the week and thus give up, at least for one day, their car. (Xinhua)