Vilnius won the title of the European Green Capital
Vilnius was awarded the title of the European Green Capital 2025 in the final of the European Commission’s Green Capital Awards. In the final competition round in Tallinn, Vilnius beat two runners-up – Portugal’s Guimarães and Austria’s Graz.
“This prestigious award is an important recognition for our city and a confirmation that we are moving in the right direction. We aim to make Vilnius a completely climate neutral city by 2030. Every year we are increasingly focusing on nurturing biodiversity, climate mitigation, more sustainable mobility and efficient management of urban life. Our vision for our city’s development is to remain open, innovative and bold to experiment,” said Valdas Benkunskas, Mayor of Vilnius, at the European Green Capital award ceremony in Tallinn.
The Mayor of the capital believes that the city’s energy independence must be the main focus. “Here we are categorical – we have to make the city use renewable energy sources and no longer depend on fossil fuels,” said V. Benkunskas.
The assessment of cities covers 7 areas that are important for the quality of life of citizens. These are: air quality, water quality, waste management, development of a circular economy, noise levels, promotion of biodiversity and adaptation to climate change. A panel of independent experts decides who deserves the title of a Green Capital.
The Green Capital title is a prestigious award and international recognition for cities that create a better environment for both nature and people. It is an international platform for spreading knowledge about a city’s policies, sharing experiences, setting an example for other cities, raising more investment and applying for EU environmental and other funds. The Green Capital will get a financial prize of €600,000 for holding EU-wide events.
Ten candidates for the title of the European Green Capital are selected out of all the applications received. From these, the three best-performing cities become finalists.
Treviso in Italy and Viladekans in Spain became the European Green Leaf winners. Cities with a population of 20,000 to 100,000 inhabitants can apply for the title of the European Small Capital or Green Leaf award.
The European Commission has been holding the European Green Capital elections since 2008. The idea, which aims to encourage cities to become more environmentally friendly and to create a healthier environment for citizens themselves, originated from a Memorandum of Understanding signed by fifteen European cities.
Stockholm was the first European Green Capital in the last decade. This year, Tallinn is the European Green Capital, while Valencia will be the European Green Capital in 2024. The Green Capitals become part of the Green Capital Network, a network of 36 cities, and continue to work together to implement ambitious city improvement ideas.
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