/ ©: Earth Hour City Challenge
EHCC award 2015 Seoul rel=
EHCC award 2015 Seoul
© City of Seoul

Will your city be the next Earth Hour Capital?

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 submit inspiring and credible urban development plans that dramatically increase the city’s use of renewable energy.
Congratulations to Seoul, South Korea, the global winner of WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge2015!
Seoul impressed an international jury of experts with its comprehensive approach to tackling climate change and its determination to ramp up its use of renewable energy. The city’s approach to radically reducing emissions includes actions such as allocating a realistic budget for increasing the use of solar power by residents, reducing transport emissions through greener fuels, building more bus lanes and through car sharing programs.
Seoul serves as a role model for fast-growing cities in a rapidly developing Southeast Asia, as well as for the rest of the world. An ambitious initiative by the city to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 million tons and to achieve 20 per cent electricity self-reliance by 2020 won high acclaim by the jury.
This year 163 cities in the following 16 countries participated in the Earth Hour City Challenge; Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand and USA.

WWF, with the support of Accenture, selected 1-3 finalists per country who were then evaluated by an international jury of experts.  The jury analyzed actions and commitments reported by these cities, and identified one sustainability leader per country for the National Earth Hour Capital Awards. From among these progressive cities, one was awarded the title Global Earth Hour Capital 2015. These inspiring cities were presented at an Award Ceremony during the ICLEI World Congress on April 9 in Seoul, South Korea.

National Earth Hour Capitals include:

Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Córdoba, Spain
Evanston, USA
Gothenburg, Sweden
Hatyai, Thailand
Jakarta, Indonesia
Lahti, Finland
Montería, Colombia
Paris, France
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Puebla, Mexico
City of Singapore, Singapore
Thane, India
Tshwane, South Africa
Vancouver, Canada.

Finalists Earth Hour City Challenge 2015:

Brazil: Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo
Canada: Edmonton, North Vancouver, Vancouver
Colombia: Bucaramanga, Monteria, Santiago de Cali
Finland: Espoo, Lahti, Tampere
France: Besançon, Nantes, Paris
India: Pune, Rajkot, Thane
Indonesia: Balikpapan, Jakarta, Semarang
Malaysia: Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam
Mexico: Puebla, Hermosillo, Toluca
Singapore: Singapore
South Africa: Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane
South Korea: Changwon, Seoul, Wonju
Spain: A Coruña, Córdoba
Sweden:  Eskilstuna, Gothenburg, Västerås
Thailand: Hatyai, Khon Kaen, Mapammarit
United States: Cleveland, Evanston, Seattle

We love cities

We Love Cities

As part of the Earth Hour City Challenge, the city of Balikpapan, Indonesia was recognized as the Most Loveable City for 2015! Balikpapan was one of 47 green city finalists selected through the social media platform We Love Cities. More than 200,000 people who truly love their cities and want to see them become more sustainable voted in the contest.
The We Love Cities campaign engaged citizens around the world to express their love through votes, tweets, Instagram pictures and by submitting suggestions on how their cities can be more sustainable. These improvement suggestions will be shared with the participating cities.

The Earth Hour City Challenge initiative has been created to celebrate cities that are taking amazing steps forward in creating a greener, cleaner and more sustainable city to live in, while inspiring other cities to do the same.

Award produced by Torstensson Art & Design / ©: Torstensson Art & Design
Award produced by Torstensson Art & Design for EHCC award ceremony Seoul, 2015
© Torstensson Art & Design
The award presented to Seoul was designed to align with the sustainability theme of the Earth Hour City Challenge. The prize was created and produced by Torstensson Art & Design, and is entitled Reflection, which conveys the idea that the work the winning city is doing should be reflected out into the world as a source of inspiration to other cities. The prize is made of recycled float-glass, recycled steel and a wood fiberboard in a workshop powered by electricity from renewables.

How the challenge works

Cities were 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 were provided in collaboration with ICLEI and the final plans and data reviewed by an international jury. Reporting on the platform closed in September.

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. This year cities from 17 countries participate in the Earth Hour City Challenge.

Christiana Figueres, member of the international jury for the WWF Earth Hour City Challenge, recognized the participation of all cities involved in the challenge at the Award ceremony 2013. City-level response is integral in the fight against climate change and cities that engaged in the Earth Hour City Challenge are leading the way in policy implementation.


  • Barbara Evaeus

    Manager Climate Communications

    WWF Sweden

    +46 8 624 7448

  • Carina Borgstrom Hansson

    Footprint expert


    +46 708 855 185

  • Hybrid car with wind turbine / ©: Istockphoto.com / WWF-Canada
    Hybrid car with wind turbine in the background against a blue sky

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