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 166 cities in the following 17 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, Tanzania, 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.
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
City of Singapore, Singapore
Tshwane, South Africa
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
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
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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