European Commission launches contest seeking climate change solutions

11 Feb 2013

The EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has launched a new low-carbon contest and is calling for entries from individuals and organisations behind projects that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The contest, dubbed ‘The World You Like Challenge’, is part of the commission’s climate action campaign.

Starting from today, people will be able to submit their low-carbon projects. According to the commission, all projects from individuals or organisations based in an EU member state will be considered, provided their main aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

During May and June, visitors to the campaign’s website will be able to vote for the most creative initiative from the shortlisted projects.

Based on the 10 most popular projects, three winners will be awarded at a ceremony in Copenhagen next October. For the awards campaign, the commission is teaming up with the international sustainability initiative Sustainia to pinpoint the solutions that have the most scope to progress further.

The campaign is set to zero in on five countries in particular: Bulgaria, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Portugal.

In these countries, national winners will have their projects featured in a national billboard campaign in the autumn.

EU budget and climate

The climate action contest comes in the wake of the EU’s negotiations that took place last week on the proposed budget for 2014-2020.

EU leaders agreed to a €960bn budget deal for the next seven years, a cut of €34bn.

The budget will direct 20pc of the entire budget to climate-related spending.

Commissioner Hedegaard said on Friday that the move was evidence that Europe’s political leaders are committed to the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“This is a major step forward for our efforts to handle the climate crisis,” she said in a statement.

“Rather than being parked in a corner of the EU budget, climate action will now be integrated into all main spending areas – cohesion, innovation, infrastructure, agriculture. And it underscores yet again the European leadership in the fight against this crucial challenge,” added Hedegaard.

However, investment in connecting Europe’s energy, transport and digital infrastructure was cut from €50bn to €41bn. As part of this, the budget for electricity grid projects has been cut from €9.1bn to €5.1bn.

Green energy image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic