The title of European Green Capital has just been awarded to Nantes, France’s sixth largest city, at a handover ceremony in Brussels. Janez Potočnik congratulated Nantes on receiving the title of European Green Capital 2013, a title that brings with it great responsibility. The Award recognizes environmental best practices, including in the areas of local contribution to sustainable transport and land use, green urban areas, water consumption, and the fight against global climate change.
The European Green Capital Award is presented every year by the European Commission to a city demonstrating exemplary commitment to sustainable urban development which respects the environment. European cities with over 200,000 inhabitants can apply and must meet twelve environmental criteria scrutinised by the jury. This scrutiny focuses on the ability of cities to minimise and reduce their impact on the environment while improving the quality of life of their inhabitants. Cities are also judged on the example they set by their activities at a European level, their involvement in innovative projects and their ability to share ideas with other cities.