• 27 Oct 2021

    Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity Awarded to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy


    The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), was awarded the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity along with 1M Euro to finance projects in Sub-Saharan Africa on 26 October 2021.

    The jury of the 2nd edition of the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity selected GCoM from among 113 candidates from 48 different countries for its unmatched ability to enhance and support city climate leadership across 11,000 cities and local governments worldwide to advance a low-carbon economy and society.

    The ceremony for the attribution of the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity will be held on the 9th of November at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

    “The attribution of the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity to the Global Covenant of Mayors couldn’t be more opportune and appropriate, given more than half of the world’s population live in urban areas, and cities account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions,” said the Jury of the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity. “The decisive role of thousands of cities to take meaningful and specific action to combat the climate crisis demonstrates the global reach of this organisation. The Gulbenkian Prize will support GCoM in raising voluntary climate mitigation and adaptation action with a special focus on two projects in Africa.”

    These two projects will be carried out in close collaboration with the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa, The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit and the European Investment Bank.

    In addition to facing critical funding problems, African cities face major challenges associated with climate change like water pollution, air pollution, and droughts, which pose a major threat to communities in the region. The 1M Euro will be used to fund large-scale projects that will go towards advancing critical infrastructure projects to support climate mitigation and adaptation efforts in Senegal and Cameroon. In Senegal, five cities will be awarded funds to improve the supply of drinking water to help adapt to climate impacts such as droughts; and in Cameroon, one city will be awarded funds to support the development of energy efficiency solutions. The projects in Senegal and Cameroon were selected for their high potential impact. Specifically, selected projects had a high degree of climate ambition that contribute to the energy transition and climate resilience in Africa and were at an early planning stage, dependent on funding to progress and go beyond planning.

    For more information, please visit the website of the Global Covenant of Mayors.

    About the Prize

    The Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity, awarded annually, in the amount of 1 million Euro, aims to recognise people, groups of people and/or organisations from all over the world that stand out and contribute to the mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The establishing of this Prize is aligned with one of the core missions of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation: supporting sustainable development, actively fostering the wellbeing and quality of life of vulnerable population groups, in harmony with environmental protection and economic prosperity. The Foundation considers any potential recognition areas that can contribute towards reducing or absorbing greenhouse gas emissions; actions boosting the resilience of people and the environment towards the impacts of climate change; and as well as mobilising financial resources, whether public or private, to accelerate the decarbonisation of the economy. The first edition of the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity was awarded to the young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg who decided to distribute the amount between several environmental and humanitarian projects.

    Visit the Gulbenkian website.