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Portuguese sustainable agriculture project announced as winner of EU climate solution challenge

08 November 2013
Portuguese sustainable agriculture project announced as winner of EU climate solution challenge

LONDON: The EU’s Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has announced that the winner of the World You Like contest is a Portuguese sustainable agriculture project.

World You Like was a competition to find new solutions to climate change. The winning project, Sown Biodiverse Pastures, was chosen for its innovative way of cutting the CO2 emissions and other environmental impacts associated with farming. As part of the project, 1,000 farmers were given a new seed mixture that helps increase soil resilience to a changing environment, and since then pastures across Portugal have already improved.

269 low carbon project ideas were submitted to the World You Like Challenge which were voted for by the public, before finalists were chosen by judges. The panel included former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, Chair of the UN’s climate panel, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri and Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action.

Connie Hedegaard announced the winner at the Sustainia Award Ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark. 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."

Two runners-up were honored at the awards ceremony: Brussels-based Airport Carbon Accreditation which connects 75 European airports and aims to improve energy efficiency and lower emissions, and Low Energy Houses for Everyone, a green building company from Poland.

National winners were also selected from the campaign’s three other target countries. Bulgaria’s community composting project, Lithuania’s waste reduction initiative and Italy’s renewable energy housing project were chosen to have their campaigns posted on billboards in their capital cities this month.

Bulgaria, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal and Poland were picked as target countries because, as Connie Hedegaard mentioned in our live Twitter Q&A with her this week, "They needed it: they had interested governments and we needed some geographical spread." She also tweeted the importance of citizen opinion through campaigns such as World You Like, as a means of impacting government and business decisions: "We need clear messages from the citizens: DEMAND that your politicans are thinking ALSO for the long term."

Learn more about the World You Like Challenge 

Read a summary of our live Twitter chat with Connie Hedegaard

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