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Press release

European sustainability award launched at Change the Change conference

06 March 2019 10:00 - San Sebastián, Basque country

The 2019 edition of the Transformative Action Award was launched today at ‘Change the Change’, an international conference on climate change, organised by the Spanish Ministry for the Environment, the Basque Country, the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and the City of San Sebastián.

The Europe-wide sustainability award, organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Basque Country and the City of Aalborg (Denmark) and supported by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), rewards ongoing or concluded Transformative Actions that use the 15 pathways outlined in the Basque Declaration to achieve the socio-cultural, socio-economic and technological transformation of societies.

The actions taken reflect local or regional contributions to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.

"The Transformative Action Award celebrates the ambition of cities and municipalities to create sustainable communities,” said Karl Heinz-Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions and host of the Transformative Action Award Ceremony. “It sends a clear message that local democracy and citizen engagement are the driving force for a sustainable future," he added.

His words were echoed by Cor Lamers, Chair of the ENVE Commission of the European Committee of the Regions and Transformative Action Award jury member, who said: “The Transformative Action Award gives Europe-wide recognition to cities that are leading the way in terms of sustainability. Actions that reduce our environmental impact are urgently needed and this initiative is an invaluable tool to make those actions happen.

The competition is open to any local or regional authority, or civil society organisation located in an EU Member State, EEA country or EU candidate or accession country that has endorsed the Basque Declaration. The applicant must be behind the implementation of the Transformative Action and the Action must have been in place for at least three months, but no longer than five years, at the time of submission. All applications must be submitted in full, in clear English. The application deadline is 31 July, 2019.

Thomas Kastrup Larsen, Mayor of Aalborg (Denmark) and jury member, shared what he hopes to see from the 2019 entrants: “I look forward to inspiring entries from across Europe, showing the creativity of our cities and regions to make their communities more sustainable and better places to live for all.

In addition to joining previous winners Ghent (Belgium) and Nilüfer (Turkey) as recognised leaders of sustainable urban transformation in Europe, the winner of the 2019 award will receive 10,000 EUR to help initiate further transformative actions in their city or region.

The winner will also receive free entry and a presentation at the 9th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns taking place in Mannheim (Germany) from 30 September – 2 October 2020.

To endorse the Basque Declaration, and enter a Transformative Action to the competition, visit the Sustainable Cities Platform.