One of the article we report in the current newsletter asks the question whether the European Green Capital award could drive environmental action. By the way the city that won the
2019 award is Oslo
, capital of Norway: congratulations!
This is a good question. The award is quite recent as it was launched in 2010 when Stockholm won it. It concerns cities with a population in excess of 100,000 inhabitants and part of an EU Member State, EU Candidate Country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and it is based on 12 environmental indicators the competing cities must work on by introducing convincing strategies. For those interested, the rules of contest are
For the 2020 contest the winning city will be awarded a max sum of EUR 350,000 to carry out activities although the final definition depends on the EU 2018 Budget and approval by the College of the 2018 Financial Decision for the
EU LIFE Programme
Despite the enthusiasm for this initiative, which is understandable, I don't think this award could drive an extended environmental action for the following reasons:
lack of publicity - people generally have heard of EU funding, a good share of them have heard of the Horizon 2020 funding framework, but virtually no one is aware of the European Green Capital award (or its sister European Green Leaf award addressing cities with a number of inhabitants ranging between 20,000 and 99,999 and awarding up to 75,000 Euros). This can be an obstacle to the dissemination of good practices implemented by winning cities
very (too?) different backgrounds - the competing cities have to describe the implementation of measures in the last five to ten years. Although this is needed to understand the quality and consistency of strategies for future actions, every winning city can have a totally different background from others. This means the set of actions implemented by the winning city can't be easily replicated to other cities in the future
too wide range of cities size - the European Green City award is available to cities with over 100,000 inhabitants but we all know the problems of cities with 200,000 inh. (for example) are pretty different from those having more than 1, 2, even 3 million inh.. Besides, there are other significant differences between normal cities and capital cities where the latter host central governments that require distinct set of issues and consequent actions
little money awarded - for the 2020 winning city it is envisaged to award up to EUR 350k which cannot allow the realisation of dramatic innovation nor the introduction of technologies
It is not that clear to me how the experience acquired by one city can be transferred effectively to other cities in Europe as it used to happen in those cities that took part in
The initiative is a good start, but it should be modified to become more effective to drive a proper environmental action.
Feel free to send your comments to:
You receive this newsletter because you have been in touch directly or indirectly with EPN Consulting and/or its Founder & CEO.
Please be assured that all your data are securely stored in our systems and will never be given away/sold/disclosed as EPN Consulting is GDPR-compliant.