Applications are still open for this year’s C40 Cities Awards, an annual event designed to bring global recognition to cities demonstrating climate action leadership.

Winning cities will be announced on a global stage at an awards ceremony in Paris on December 3, 2015, to coincide with the activities around COP21. The Awards specifically aim to share highly replicable ‘best practices’ across cities and draw attention to outstanding performances that have achieved a high level of environmental success in a challenging context.

Cities will have three chances for global recognition: 100 solutions will be featured in a 2015 Cities100 publication, developed in partnership with Sustainia; from this group, 30 cities will be selected as C40 Cities Awards finalists, of which 10 will be announced as winners.

The C40 Cities Awards are granted in 10 categories, four of which are open to 1) C40 cities, 2) C40 cities that have committed to the Compact of Mayors; and 3) all cities that have committed or intend to commit to the Compact of Mayors – Carbon Measurement & Planning, Adaptation Planning & Assessment, Building Energy Efficiency and Green Energy. The six remaining categories are open to all cities – Finance & Economic Development, Solid Waste, Adaptation Implementation, Smart Cities & Smart Community Engagement, Sustainable Communities, and Transportation. 

Last year’s winners, announced during Climate Week NYC, constituted a wide range of innovative and replicable projects and policies aimed at both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving quality of life for urban citizens.  

  • Amsterdam, for example, won in the Finance & Economic Development category for their Investment Fund, an innovative approach to funding projects developed by citizens or community groups, who might otherwise find it difficult to raise capital to deliver sustainable projects.
  • Buenos Aires won in the Solid Waste Management category for their Solid Urban Waste Reduction Project, an ambitious waste treatment programme which reduced the amount of waste sent to landfills by 44% in 2014 alone. The project also stood out internationally in how it provided new employment opportunities and fostered greater social participation, to achieve a step change in improving the city’s cleanliness. 
  • London took home the prize in the Carbon Measurement & Planning category for their Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Between 2012 and 2013, London was the first city worldwide to report direct and indirect city-wide GHG emissions, building on the Global Protocol for Community-scale GHG Emission Inventories (GPC).
  • Portland’s Healthy Connected City Network won the Sustainable Communities prize. Portland's unique approach to “complete neightbourhoods” shows how city governments can reduce auto dependence even in low-density areas through the thoughtful use of zoning, economic development strategy, and public-private partnerships.
  • Shenzhen won in the Urban Transportation category for their New Energy Vehicle Promotion project, which includes more than 6,000 electric vehicles, making it the largest zero-emissions fleet in service worldwide.

For a full list of 2014’s winning cities and their projects, click here. More about 2013’s winners can be found here.

The deadline for the 2015 C40 Cities Awards has been extended to August 21, 2015. To apply or find out more, click here.

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