Environment and energy efficiency was selected at the Study on the Future of the Atlantic cities as a strategic priority for the Atlantic Cities’ future. As the urban population is increasing waste and resources management as well as air, water and soil quality preservation are crucial to make cities more attractive and adapted to climate change challenges.

To this regard, the study highlights the need to follow the San Sebastian charter adopted at the Atlantic Cities General Assembly in 2018 which promotes sustainable urban development within Atlantic Cities.  Moreover, it is needed to promote the exchange of best practices in terms of risk management in a local context of climate change as well as promote awareness on environment preservation.

Atlantic Cities members are highly involved in becoming greener and attractive territories with recognised initiatives such as Lisbon, which was selected as the European Green Capital 2020 for its efforts on improvement in terms of environment at the same time is giving more quality of life to its citizens, or Gijon, through the project AYCH is promoting creativity within youth towards more sustainable models.

Several Atlantic Cities actions are framed in the new European Union Growth Strategy for a climate neutral continent. A strategy focused on reducing pollution to zero, developing affordable and secure energy for all, putting in place smarter transport. To this regard, Atlantic Cities is implementing EURE project in Brittany region addressed to improve urban environment policies in terms of ressources efficiency.

Following these lines, the Atlantic Cities were ranked at the Green Cities Observatory 2020 edition on “Green Cities Awards“ at the top 10 cities. Notably, Poitiers in 6th position recognised for its work in terms of biodiversity and green heritage, but also Rennes in 7th position for its Plan Climate 2019-2020 and Brest, in 10th position for its commitment in terms of efficiency energy and renewable energy production.

Moreover, ACA is permanently working towards sustainable Atlantic Cities’ territory by publishing position papers on urban and territorial policy. Besides Atlantic Cities members are permanently running green projects such as Santander and Lorient which are implementing EMPOWER project focused on carbon footprint reduction by boosting energy efficiency savings; or Cork and Viana do Castelo with Welcome to the Playful Cities of Europe project, and Santiago de Compostela with Green Troop, recycling has a prize project, both focused on environmental awareness to citizens.

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