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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 7 November 2013

Portuguese project crowned best climate solution in European competition

The European Commission today announced the overall winner of its World You Like Challenge competition for the best solutions to climate change. The Portuguese project Sown Biodiverse Pastures was crowned winner for its innovative solution in reducing CO2 emissions, soil erosion and the risk of wild fires while increasing the productivity of pasturelands.

European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard announced the winner at the Sustainia Award Ceremony in Copenhagen. She said: "Congratulations to Sown Biodiverse Pastures! This project is a perfect example of how practical solutions for climate action can also save money and create jobs and growth. It has been truly encouraging to see the amount of innovative projects from across the European Union that were submitted in the World You Like Challenge. It's time to scale up these climate solutions to build a world we like, with a climate we like."

The Sown Biodiverse Pastures project involves over 1000 Portuguese farmers and provides them with seed mixtures adapted for specific soils which help increase the soil's resilience to environmental instabilities. The project, promoted by the Terraprima organisation, has led to improved soil fertility, water retention and erosion resistance as well as helped to increase the productivity of pastures across many parts of Portugal.

The Challenge is part of the European Commission's pan-European public awareness campaign A world you like. With a climate you like, which promotes practical, innovative and cost-efficient solutions to climate change.

Sown Biodiverse Pastures will receive a chance to record a professional video and support to promote the project across European media.

The two runners-up in the Challenge were also honoured at the ceremony:

  1. Airport Carbon Accreditation: This European project, based in Brussels, is a cooperation between 75 European airports which aim to improve their energy efficiency and lower their CO2 emissions. The programme was launched by the European airport trade body ACI EUROPE in 2009.

  2. Low Energy Houses for Everyone: This project by the Polish organisation Dworek Polski builds traditional Polish houses that are both affordable and low in energy consumption.

The winner of the challenge was selected by the Sustainia Award Committee, consisting of Commissioner Hedegaard, former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland and the Chair of the UN's climate panel, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri.

Sustainia, a partner of the campaign, is an international sustainability initiative spearheaded by Mr Schwarzenegger.

The World You Like Challenge and campaign

The World You Like Challenge brought together creative minds from across the EU to put their low-carbon innovations to the test. Among the 269 submitted projects, the public could vote for their favourites online. The best among these were then presented to the Sustania Award Committee.

Since its launch in October 2012, the A world you like. With a climate you like campaign has reached millions of Europeans. It has attracted over 65,000 followers on social media, and received the support of over 230 partner organisations across the EU and several celebrities, including UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and award-winning actor Colin Firth.

National competitions

In addition to the overall winner of the challenge, national winners were selected in each of the campaign's five target countries – Bulgaria, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Portugal.

The national winners were announced on 1 October 2013. Sown Biodiverse Pastures and Low Energy Houses for Everyone were also the national winners in Portugal and Poland. Winners in other countries included:

  1. In Bulgaria, a project involving a community composting initiative that increases citizens' environmental awareness.

  2. The Lithuanian winner that contributes to reducing waste by turning items that would otherwise have been thrown away into nice jewellery and accessories.

  3. For Italy, the winner is a housing project that only uses renewable energy sources and maintains a low purchasing price at the same time.

The national winners are being rewarded with billboard campaigns in the capital cities in their countries during the course of this month.

For more information about the World You Like campaign and challenge:

http://world-you-like.europa.eu/en/

https://www.facebook.com/EUClimateAction

https://twitter.com/EUClimateAction #worldulike

For more information about the Sustainia Award Ceremony: http://www.sustainia.me/

Contacts :

Isaac Valero Ladron (+32 2 296 49 71)

Mirna Bratoz (+32 2 298 72 78)


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