EU plans climate change cash, hunts green heroes

The European Union is hunting high and low for green heroes in a new contest launched this week to find exciting projects which cut carbon emissions. The contest comes as last […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The European Union is hunting high and low for green heroes in a new contest launched this week to find exciting projects which cut carbon emissions. The contest comes as last week EU leaders agreed they would spend a fifth of its budget for 2014-2020 on climate action.

Europe’s leaders drew up their plan for future spending, the multi-annual financial framework (MFF), which stated that “climate action objectives will represent at least 20% of EU spending” and any action must “strengthen energy security, building a low-carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient economy that will enhance Europe’s competitiveness and create more and greener jobs.”

With the new climate competition, the EU’s Commission for Climate Action says it wants to throw the spotlight on practical ways to tackle climate change, whether they’re big or small. That could mean an electric bike which transport goods or an innovative production process which lowers greenhouse gas emissions and energy bills. The winner could even be a sustainable building or heating solution.

In May and June, the public will be able to vote for their favourite shortlisted project and a judging panel of 10 including Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is heading an international sustainability campaign called Sustainia.

Connie Hedegaard, the Climate Commissioner (pictured next to Schwarzenegger) announced the competition as part of a bigger ‘World You Like Challenge’ campaign. She said: “The Challenge is a great opportunity to move beyond mere talking about climate change. By submitting your project, you help us show that building a world we like with a climate we like is both feasible and affordable. And it won’t make our lives dull and grey.”