Galway has scooped the EU’s prestigious European Green Leaf Environmental Award for 2016.
The City was chosen from hundreds of urban centres across Europe with populations under 100,000 as Europe's most environmentally friendly small city.
The announcement was made last week in Ljubljana, Slovenia (last year's ‘Green Capital’ winner), and the award was presented by the European Commission to the Mayor of Galway Noel Larkin.
With two-thirds of Europeans living in towns and cities, their health and well-being depends on how well city authorities address environmental challenges. The European Green Leaf Award recognises the remarkable efforts of environmentally-friendly cities.
The jury particularly appreciated Galway’s approach to green growth and support of SMEs, as well as their commitment to education and enthusiasm in becoming a Green Ambassador in 2017 and beyond.
Winners of this award have to demonstrate well-established records of high environmental standards and a commitment to setting ambitious goals for future environmental progress, underpinned by the practical application of sustainable development. The schemes have a particular focus on green growth and job creation.
Winners act as role models and inspire other cities to make their urban spaces sustainable and ultimately more enjoyable places in which to live, work and play.
Green Leaf applications are assessed on the basis of six topic areas, including climate change and energy performance, mobility, biodiversity and land use, quality of air and the acoustic environment, waste management and the circular economy, and water and wastewater managemen