At a ceremony in Vancouver, Canada, WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) awarded Cape Town, South Africa the title Global Earth Hour Capital 2014. The city is recognized for its ambition and pioneering actions to combat climate change in its effort to bolster quality of life for its citizens. Cape Town succeeds last year’s winner Vancouver, Canada.
Cape Town stood out as a role model for the Global South with a showcase of green programs and actions other cities can replicate. Cape Town demonstrates how city strategies to reduce carbon development and battle climate change can also help tackle other development priorities such as food, energy and water security. The city has taken bold steps towards transitioning its energy system away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy with its roll out of a solar water heating program. Community engagement on sustainability issues and strong progress with energy efficiency, especially a large-scale retrofitting program for its buildings stock, were other pioneering actions highlighted.
Over 160 cities from 14 countries joined the competition, more than double the participation from last year. This year, the jury paid particular attention to each city’s level of ambition and innovation for low carbon development in relation to their local context.
The Vancouver ceremony also awarded the 13 other shortlisted cities for the global award as Earth Hour National Capitals. Along with Cape Town, selected as National Capital for South Africa.
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Brussels Capital Region, Belgium
Chicago, The United States
Mexico City, Mexico
Seoul, South Korea
The cities of Copenhagen, Chicago, Seoul and Stockholm also received honorary awards from the jury for the ambition, scale and impact of their actions, and commitment to transitioning to a 100% renewable-energy based future.
The City Challenge also awarded the winning cities for its social media campaign We Love Cities. Over 300,000 votes were received from people around the world to select their most loveable of our 33 finalist cities and also send in their suggestions online of how to make them more sustainable. Tied for first place were the cities of Khunan, Thailand and Medellin, Colombia.
The jury selection of Earth Hour Capitals is separate from the We Love Cities award and is completely based on the data that the cities report for the EHCC on the Carbonn Cities climate registry. Visit http://citiesclimateregistry.org/data/ for more information on what the participating cities are doing to develop sustainably and to transition toward a 100% renewable energy future.
Over 300 cities from around the world have participated in Earth Hour City Challenge. These are cities that deserve recognition for their commitment to taking a leadership role in the transition toward a climate-friendly, one-planet future.
With more than 70% of the world’s CO2 emissions generated by residents in cities, the Earth Hour City Challenge has been created to mobilize action and support from cities in the global transition towards a climate friendly one-planet future. The challenge invites cities to report ambitious commitments and big win climate actions, in terms of GHG reductions as well as the co-benefits they provide in relation to food, water and energy security challenges. Next launch of the challenge in 2017 will be the sixth round of WWFs international city challenge.
Cities are invited to report relevant data, plans and actions via an internationally recognized carbon reporting platform for cities, Carbonn Climate Registry, cCR, managed by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. Outreach and support to cities is provided in collaboration with ICLEI and the final plans and data reviewed by an international jury.
The international jury review development plans for building, transport, energy and food systems – solutions that will make a city greener and cleaner and improve living standards for residents.
WWF commissioned Torstensson Arts & Design in Sweden to create an award in line with the sustainability theme of the Earth Hour City Challenge. Reflection conveys the idea that the work Paris, 2016 year´s Global Earth Hour capital, is doing should be reflected out in the world as a source of inspiration for other cities. The prize is made of recycled float-glass, recycled steel and a wood fiberboard in a workshop powered by electricty from renewables.
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Commitments and actions of 328 cities towards a climate smart futute.
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