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This article was originally published on the Covenant of Mayors website.
The European Commission has opened up the competition to large and small cities across Europe for these prestigious awards, which recognize high environmental records and an outstanding commitment to sustainable urban development. In these year’s editions, both winners of the European Green Capital and European Green Leaf awards will receive for the first time a financial incentive to boost their environmental programmes!
The winner of the European Green Capital award will receive €350,000, while the winner of the European Green Leaf award will receive €75,000. Cities with a population of more than 100,000 inhabitants can apply to become European Green Capital, while the European Green Leaf accepts applications from smaller-sized cities (20,000 – 100,000 inhabitants).
Alongside the new financial incentive, winners of the European Green Capital and European Green Leaf awards gain numerous benefits:
• Increased tourism and investment
• International prestige and media coverage
• Membership of an exclusive network of previous winners and shortlisted cities to share ideas and experience towards furthering environmental sustainability
• Application process supports cities in evaluating their environmental progress and benchmarking themselves against their peers
• Boosts momentum to accelerate environmental actions
The European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella: “The European Green Capital and Green Leaf Awards are becoming increasingly important as we strive to manage our cities and towns against the challenges of population growth, pressure on resources and our responsibilities to manage climate change. European Green Capitals and Green Leafs provide vital inspiration and motivation to help other cities find solutions, on both a European and a global stage.”