Bristol goes for green

Bristol is hoping its vision as one of the UK's most energy and carbon efficient cities will enable it to claim the title of Europe's Greenest City in the European Green Capital Award (EGCA).

As the only UK city to have been shortlisted for the title, Bristol will tomorrow (June 8) go before a judging panel in Brussels, with the support of deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband.

It predicts that, if successful, the award for 2014 will create 1,000 new green jobs and provide a £1m boost to the local economy.

Alongside its energy and carbon efficient vision, Bristol is looking to become a role model for other European cities as it aims to inspire behavioural change to bring about significant environmental improvements.

It plans to do this by focusing on plans for £400m green investment, including a £140m advanced energy efficiency programme and £260m in public transport.

Bristol has also taken a partnership approach to greening the city through its Bristol Green Capital Partnership initiative, which consists of more than 200 organisations from all sectors of the community driving change through more than 250 projects.

This is the second time Bristol has reached the EGCA finals and it will this year go up against other finalists Copenhagen and Frankfurt. The winner will be announced on June 29.

Mr Clegg said: “Bristol is the first UK city to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award which I think is a fitting tribute to the work that has been done over a number of years to promote a green and sustainability agenda across the city.

“The UK Government recognises the significance of the ECGA and, if Bristol is successful, would work closely with the city council in order to maximise the opportunities that this would create for Bristol and the UK.”

Bristol City Council leader Simon Cook, added: “This award will be a major boost to the green credentials of our city and the UK. Hamburg, who held the honour in 2011, has already attracted four major business investments on the back of the award, which has created more than 1,000 jobs in renewable energy and environmental technologies. If successful, we hope for a similar impact.”

Carys Matthews

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