Cork working towards becoming European Green Capital

28 April 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth

Rankings for the prestigious European Green Capital for 2017 have just been announced and in Cork’s very first time bidding to be Europe’s Green Capital, the city ranked 7th above cities such as Porto, Istanbul and Cascais. The application was made by Cork City Council supported by Cork County Council, Energy Cork, ESB Networks and Gas Networks Ireland. Other organisations who contributed to the application included Cork Environmental Forum, UCC, CIT, Irish Water, Cork Airport, Port of Cork and Cork Chamber of Commerce.

The European Green Capital Award initiative was launched by the European Commission in 2008 with the objective of recognising cities that are leading the way with environmentally friendly urban living. Although the Cork submission wasn’t selected in the four cities shortlisted for the ultimate award for 2017, it is testimony to the work of all the stakeholders, who came together to promote Cork on a global stage.

The award of European Green Capital for 2017 will be made in June 2015 to one of four shortlisted cities (Nijmegen, Umeá, ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Essen) after a series of presentations and further analysis. The 2015 European Green Capital is Bristol with previous winners including Stockholm, Hamburg, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Nantes, Copenhagen. All of these cities are recognised for their consistent record of achieving high environmental standards and commitment to ambitious goals,

Michael O’Brien, Senior Engineer with Cork City Council spearheaded the joint bid between Cork City and Cork County Council: “We were delighted to achieve such a high position, despite it being the first year of our submission. Cork is very serious about protecting the environment and prides itself on providing an excellent quality of life to all its residents. There are many innovative and very successful green initiatives taking place in Cork and the European Green Capital initiative presented us with an opportunity of documenting these and bench-marking us against other environmentally proactive cities” he said of the submission.

Michael and the team that prepared the submission were extremely pleased with the positive performance of Cork: “This was the first year that we have prepared a submission and we have learnt a lot from the experience. We now know how we rank against other leading environmentally friendly cities but most importantly we know the specific areas where we must improve. This was a valuable learning exercise for Cork. Cork City Council are very grateful for the important support it’s received from a range of stakeholders in making this application, in particular, Cork County Council, Gas Networks Ireland, ESB Networks and Energy Cork.”

To view a copy of the the application click here.

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