The winners of the European Green Capital and Leaf 2024 Awards were announced at a
ceremony in Grenoble, France, this year’s European Green Capital. The Spanish city of
Valencia will become the European Green Capital for 2024 and the title of European
Green Leaf 2024 went jointly to Elsinore in Denmark and the Slovenian city of Velenje.
Valencia earned the title due to its past and current achievements in the field of
sustainable tourism, climate neutrality, as well as fair and inclusive green transition.
97% of city’s inhabitants live within 300 metres of green urban areas. The city has also
proven commitment to improving air quality and restoring nature ecosystems, such as
the Devesa dune and wetland ecosystems. Valencia also stimulates a healthier, sustainable, and inclusive food production through its “Neighbourhood and Food Programme”.

Valencia will be granted a financial prize of EUR 600,000. The prize will support the winning city to implement measures to enhance the city’s environmental sustainability as part of the European Green Capital year 2024. European Green Leaf 2024 winners Elsinore and Velenje will each receive a financial prize of EUR 200,000 to support their efforts.
Greener and cleaner
The EU recognises that cities play a crucial role in achieving the aims of the European Green Deal, to deliver a low carbon, resource-efficient, sustainable and resilient society. With over 70% of Europeans living in urban areas, cities play an important role in the environmental and economic transformation.

The Danish city of Elsinore mitigates the impact of the current energy crisis by accelerating the energy renovation of buildings and heat source conversion, including by establishing district heating systems. The city has reconstructed the sewage system to separate rainwater and waste water to improve water quality and efficiency, as well as to support climate adaptation. The motto of its Green Leaf year is “sharing is caring”, with citizens and local businesses involved in achieving a green transition.
The Slovenian city of Velenje is working to phase out coal, while opening up new employment opportunities in the green job sectors. Their motto is “from black to green & bright”. Velenje was one of the first cities in Slovenia to install a separate waste collection system and has been improving waste management ever since. The city is eager to share their experiences on the transformation from a coal mining to a climate neutral city.

The European Green Capital Award was launched in 2010 by the European Commission to encourage cities to become greener and cleaner, and thereby to improve the quality of life for their citizens. The Award recognises the efforts of cities that are committed to further action in line also with the European Green Deal’s ambitious goals and more specifically the Zero Pollution Action Plan, the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Biodiversity Strategy.
The European Green Leaf Award (EGLA) was established to recognise the environmental efforts and achievements of smaller towns and cities (20 000 – 100 000 inhabitants).