European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, said: “The European Green Capital Award showcases local efforts to improve the urban environment and promote sustainable growth. As we launch the competition for the sixth European Green Capital, for 2015, I would like to encourage cities to apply and to use this as an opportunity to review and highlight their environmental achievements and plan a sustainable future for their citizens.”
The three key aims of the award are to:
Reward cities that have a well-established record of achieving high environmental objectives;
Encourage cities to commit to ambitious goals for future environmental improvement and sustainable development; and
Provide a role model to inspire other cities and promote best practices and experiences in all other European cities.
All cities across Europe with more than 200,000 inhabitants can apply for the title of European Green Capital 2015. The award is open to EU Member States, acceding states (Croatia), candidate countries (Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Iceland and Serbia) and other European Economic Area countries (Norway and Liechtenstein). In countries where there is no city with more than 200,000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply.
Entries will be assessed on the basis of 12 indicators: local contribution to global climate change, sustainable transport, green urban areas incorporating sustainable land use, promotion of nature and biodiversity, air quality, noise levels, waste management, water consumption, waste water treatment, eco-innovation and sustainable employment, environmental management of the local authority and energy performance.
Cities can apply online at www.europeangreencapital.eu. The deadline for applications for the 2015 title is 15 October 2012. The title is awarded by an international jury supported by a panel of renowned experts in different environmental fields. The winner will be announced in June 2013.