Bristol won the title of European Green Capital for 2015. The other finalists were Brussels (Belgium), Glasgow (Scotland) and Ljubljana (Slovenia). The title is earned by cities which consistently achieve high environmental standards and are committed to even further improvement and sustainability. The winning city has to “demonstrate a vision for the future which will inspire other cities to take similar action”. The current Green Capital is Nantes in France.
The European Commission has “long recognized the important role that local authorities play in improving the environment” and the European Green Capital Award has been conceived as an initiative to promote and reward these efforts.
Bristol has committed a budget of €500m for transport improvements by 2015 and up to €300m for energy efficiency and renewable energy by 2020. Carbon emissions have consistently reduced in the city since 2005, despite a growing economy.
Bristol has the ambition of becoming a European hub for low-carbon industry with a target of 17,000 new jobs in creative, digital and low carbon sectors by 2030. Bristol demonstrated 4.7% growth in the green economy in 2012. The benefits of being a European Green Capital for 2015 are manifold for the city – it will attract inward investment and visitors to the city as well as reinforce Bristol’s reputation as a leading sustainable city in the UK.
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