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Bristol named runner up in European Green Capital 2014 Award
Release date: Sat, 30/06/2012
Bristol has been named runner up in the European Green Capital Award for 2014.
In an awards ceremony on Friday evening (29th June), Bristol’s strong bid was praised by judges. Copenhagen was named as the host city for 2014, beating runners-up Bristol and Frankfurt.
Council Leader Simon Cook said: “To get so far in this competition has been a remarkable achievement for Bristol, particularly when we were up against such strong competitors. It is testament to the huge amount of progress made on the green agenda, the vision we have for the city in years to come and the great working relationship in Bristol between the public and private sector, community groups and academia.
“We are the only UK city to have ever reached the finals in this competition, and we have done so for the second time. This sends a clear message that we are a green city that is inspiring change across Europe. It provides us with a platform to market the city as a place to do green business and a great place for international tourists to visit.
“As a signal of our intent to press ahead, I can confirm today that the council will support Bristol’s Big Green Week in 2013 with the ambitions to turn the festival into a world-class event for the city.”
The judging panel from the European Commission said that Bristol’s finalist presentation demonstrated the best example of partnership working. Out of the 18 cities that entered, Bristol was ranked second overall and number one in three areas: climate change, air quality and noise pollution.
Chair of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership, Professor Martin Bigg said: "On behalf of Bristol’s Green Capital bid team, a huge thank you to everyone who has played a part in getting Bristol into the final of these prestigious awards. Our businesses, community groups, residents, public sector, schools and universities are all contributing to making Bristol a more sustainable, low carbon city with a high quality of life for all. We have learnt and continue to learn and share the challenges and opportunities of being a green city. We have amazing green creativity, culture and ethos in Bristol, and it is thanks to all this that the city is being recognised at an international level.
“Our congratulations go to Copenhagen, who we have no doubt will be an excellent host for the award in 2014.”
Bristol’s bid received wide-ranging support nationally and locally, including endorsement from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and leader of the Labour party, Ed Miliband, as well as over 3,500 signatories in support of the bid.
The European Green Capital Award aims to provide an incentive for cities to inspire each other, share best practices and become role models. The winning city is chosen each year by a panel of judges from the EC. There is no financial prize with the award.
EU Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Janez Potocnik, says: “The finalists and winners of the European Green Capital Award provide us with valuable real-life examples of how respect for the environment, excellent quality of life and economic growth can all be successfully combined.”
Bristol made it to the final three thanks to its strong green performance. The Commission’s panel of experts ranked Bristol second out of the 18 cities that entered the Award, and highlighted several of Bristol’s achievements and plans, including:
- good progress with action on climate change. The Council has been investing in energy efficiency in thousands of homes and many public buildings, helping to reduce emissions by 20% per person since 2005.
Improvements being made to transport through Cycling City and investment in public transport, and particularly the improvements to road safety in recent years
- The importance of green business to the city and the improvements that businesses have made to their energy and carbon efficiency
- An excellent reduction in the amount of waste produced by residents over the past 5 years, recycling improvements leading to a recycling rate of around 50%, and an overall reduction in the amount of waste going to landfill – down to less than 20%
- Improvements to parks and the urban environment and the concentration of development on ‘brownfield’ sites
- The good work being done by local water companies in ensuring a secure, high quality supply of water, and the investment being made to improve infrastructure to protect the environment
- The good work in the city’s energy planning – in particular, the judge commented “Bristol is likely to lead the development in Britain over the coming decades”.
Bristol also entered the award for 2010 and was the only UK city to reach the finals.
For more information about the Bristol Green Capital Partnership, go to www.bristolgreencapital.org.
For more information about the European Green Capital Awards, go to http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/