Posted on 12 February 2019
Today WWF launches its 2019 One Planet City Challenge. After the Swedish city of Uppsala won the 2018 Challenge, WWF is increasing its ambitions, challenging all cities to play their part in delivering on the Paris Agreement by limiting their climate impact in line with global warming within 1.5 °C.
The new assessment framework for the One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) is based on data from the UN climate panel – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In the 2019 OPCC, participating cities will compare their current emissions with the emission reductions necessary to reach the 1.5 °C target in a tailor-made analysis. This will establish the ambition levels required, taking into account each city’s level of development. Further, local governments that join the OPCC will receive guidance to big-win climate impact reductions actions, and advice on how best to adapt to the anticipated impacts of climate change.
The methodology we use is unique and overseen by international experts. WWF supports cities at no cost with a powerful tool to give clear feedback. This is important not just for decision makers, but also for engaged citizens rising across the world. The Challenge concludes in 2020 with an international expert jury nominating national winners. From those cities, the jury will choose a global winner – with the most compatible action plan aligned to 1.5 °C.
As the home of 55% of global population, expected to increase to 66% by 2050, cities are already responsible for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. To quote former UN Vice Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, “The battle for sustainability will be won or lost in cities”. It is therefore essential that cities act to both combat and deal with climate change. Leading cities have an important role to play in showing the way. By demonstrating how climate action is done, these cities can have a major influence. WWF wants to work with these cities to help them make the most effective choices and to spread their learning to other cities.
About limiting global warming to 1.5 °C from the IPCC Special Report:
- Global emissions must halve by 2030 if the Paris Agreement goals are to be reached.
- It costs less to act now than later.
- Every year we do not act, delays achievement of the 1.5 °C goal by 2 years.
- Exceeding 1.5 °C would lead us to a highly uncertain future where many natural and human systems will be stretched beyond their capacity to adapt.
- There is limited scientific knowledge and no institutional or governance experience of a world warmer than 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.
About the One Planet City Challenge
WWF’s One Planet City Challenge began in 2011 and is the world’s largest and longest-running challenge of its kind. The assessment criteria, which integrate data from the IPCC, is new for 2019. So far, more than 400 global cities have taken on the Challenge. These have already reported over 5,700 actions with an accumulated potential for emission reductions of 3.9 Gt CO2e. This year the OPCC will be run in circa 30 countries, covering half the global population.
Past global winners of the One Planet City Challenge inlcude: Uppsala, Sweden (2018), Paris, France (2016), Seoul, South Korea (2015), Cape Town, South Africa (2014) and Vancouver, Canada (2013).
For more information about WWF’s One Planet City Challenge:
Jennifer Lenhart, global lead and expert,
One Planet City Challenge, WWF Sweden. Mobil+56 9 4152 0824,
WWF press: firstname.lastname@example.org , +46-707-387618