Earth Hour search is on for urban climate champion



Posted on 23 March 2012  | 
The Earth Hour City Challenge aims to identify and reward cities leading the global transition toward a climate friendly, one planet future.
© WWFEnlarge
Copenhagen, Denmark – Cities in Canada, India, Italy, Sweden and the United States will be invited this year to participate in an Earth Hour City Challenge, urging them to take a leadership role in the global transition towards a low carbon economy.

“Cities currently account for over 70 per cent of global CO2 emissions – so their leadership in reducing emissions will be crucial if we are to avoid escalating levels of climate change” said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International.

“But there are exciting opportunities for cities that approach this challenge with creativity and determination. Cities can be hotspots for innovations that help people lead more fulfilling lives with much lower carbon footprints. The Earth Hour City Challenge aims to highlight these examples, and the leading role cities around the world can and must play in transitioning towards a one-planet future.”

Sweden’s third largest city Malmö took top honours in the Earth Hour City Challenge pilot last year, identified as an inspiring example of how a city can demonstrate low-carbon urban development. Malmö has achieved this through consistent and long-term planning, a comprehensive approach to energy, construction, transportation and densification and by promoting enabling environments for innovation and sustainable lifestyles.

“In contrast to failed global climate negotiations, many cities can demonstrate concrete progress in transitioning towards a low-carbon future. Malmö is one of these cities, and aims to assume the role of a global green leader”, says Ilmar Reepalu, Mayor of Malmö. “But our work is not quite finished yet. Our goal is for Malmö to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy by the year 2030.”

Malmö will now challenge cities in selected pilot countries for the title in 2013. Cities are invited to submit inspiring and credible plans for low-carbon development and for dramatically increasing the use of sustainable, efficient and renewable energy solutions for review by an international jury.

The jury will place particular emphasis on how the cities plan to meet people’s everyday needs (for buildings, transport, energy) in a renewable future, rewarding solutions that can make cities greener and cleaner places to live while improving citizens’ quality of life.

Cities will submit relevant data and plans via carbonn® Cities Climate Registry (cCCR), an internationally recognized carbon reporting platform for local authorities, managed by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. ICLEI will also actively support the campaign by reaching out to candidate cities within their network.

Once reporting closes on November 19, the international jury will select five national champions and one Global Earth Hour Capital of the year to be announced to the world in March 2013.

For more information, please contact:

Carina Borgström-Hansson, PhD
Head, Earth Hour City Challenge, WWF
Tel: +46 708 855 185
Email: Carina.Borgstrom-Hansson@wwf.se

Barbara Evaeus,
Communications Manager Earth Hour City Challenge, WWF
Tel: +46 70 393 9030
Email: barbara.evaeus@wwf.se

About WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. www.panda.org/news for latest news and media resources
The Earth Hour City Challenge aims to identify and reward cities leading the global transition toward a climate friendly, one planet future.
© WWF Enlarge

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