Limerick will find out tomorrow [Thursday 20 June] if it will be awarded European Green Leaf status for 2020.
A delegation from Limerick City and County Council, led by the Mayor, Cllr Michael Sheahan is in Oslo, Norway for the final of the European Green Leaf Awards, where they present an overview of what has done to promote the ideals of sustainable development and what our future plans are.
The European Green Leaf Award (EGLA) is open to towns and cities with between 20,000 and up to 100,000 inhabitants, to recognise and promote their efforts towards better environmental management and outcomes.
Limerick has been shortlisted in the Green Leaf Award category following a technical assessment of our bid earlier this year. Limerick is competing with Lappeenanta, Finland and Mechelen, Belgium, while the jury can award a joint prize.
Limerick, along with the two other shortlisted finalists will present their vision of sustainable development and the work they are already doing and plans for the future at a special event in Oslo this evening.
Each city has a 20 minute presentation to convince an international jury of their overall commitment to sustainable urban development, their city’s capacity to act as a role model to other cities, and their strategy for communicating and engaging with their citizens.
The jury will assess the shortlisted cities on the following criteria.
- The city’s overall commitment, strategy and enthusiasm, as conveyed by the presentation
- The city’s efforts to communicate to citizen’s and the citizens’ engagement in environmental activities
- The city’s potential to act as a ‘green ambassador’, promoting good proactive and spreading the EGL concept further
The overall winners will be revealed at the official Award Ceremony tomorrow evening in Oslo, which is this year’s European Green Capital.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Michael Sheahan said: “I’m delighted to be part of the delegation to Oslo for the final of the European Green Leaf Award. Limerick has some many projects already underway, which are creating a much more sustainable urban environment, that it is wonderful to get an opportunity to discuss them in front of a European and international audience.”
“Even by getting shortlisted our efforts have been validated by the experts and allows us to continue to work into the future on other projects."
Anne Goggin, Senior Executive Engineer with the Physical Development Directorate in Limerick City and County Council added: “All the projects undertaken by the Council have allowed us to build up our expertise in planning for the demands of sustainable urban development, biodiversity, air, noise and water quality into the future.
“Following the announcement by the government yesterday of its Climate Action Plan to Tackle Climate Breakdown, we will all have to play our part in helping to reduce our reliance on carbon, and dependence on fossil fuels, and come up with new and innovative ways to meet our EU Climate targets.”
“By working towards the European Green Leaf Awards, indicates, Limerick City and County Council’s commitment to climate action and to educating our citizens in how our actions affect the planet.”
Being a European Green Leaf brings many benefits including, a greater focus on environmental projects, increased tourism and foreign investment, boosting the local economy and helping to create employment.
The European Green Leaf Award is one of two awards presented by the European Commission annually to support and promote sustainable urban development - the other is the European Green Capital Award.
The European Green Capital Award is presented to a city with more than 100,000 inhabitants, while the European Green Leaf Award is presented to smaller cities up to 100,00 inhabitants.
The winner of the European Green Capital 2021 title will win €350,000 and the winner(s) of the European Green Leaf 2020 title will win €75,000 to kick-start their green years (max. 2 winners).
These awards showcase cities that are putting their citizens first, offering them a sustainable vision.
The European Green Leaf and the Green Capital Awards are presented annually.
The European Green Capital Award is at the forefront of environmentally friendly urban living. A panel of independent urban sustainability experts assesses the performance of the competing cities against 12 environmental indicators and selects the finalists. The winner benefits from an increased profile, which serves to enhance the city’s reputation and makes it attractive as a sustainable destination for people to visit, work and live in.
Eleven cities have been awarded the title of European Green Capital since it began in 2010. Stockholm, Sweden, won the inaugural title, followed by Hamburg in Germany; Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain; Nantes in France; Copenhagen in Denmark ; Bristol in the UK; Ljubljana in Slovenia; Essen in Germany and Nijmegen in the Netherlands. The 2019 European Green Capital is Oslo, Norway, and will be followed by the Portuguese capital Lisbon who won the title for 2020.
Following the success of the European Green Capital Award, the European Green Leaf Award (EGLA) was established in 2015 to recognise smaller cities (20,000 – 100,000 inhabitants). The same panel of experts assesses the applications for the Green Leaf and selects the finalists that will be making their presentation to the jury.
To date, seven cities have been awarded the title of European Green Leaf: Mollet del Vallès, Spain in 2015; Torres Vedras, Portugal; Galway, Ireland Leuven, Belgium; Växjö, Sweden; and joint winners for 2019, Cornellà de Llobregat, Spain and Horst aan de Maas, the Netherlands.
Limerick’s fate will be known on Thursday 20 June 2019.