Mexico City stands out in WWF’s One Planet City Challenge 2020

Posted on August, 17 2020

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – Mexico City was awarded the title Global Winner in WWF’s 2019- 2020 One Planet City Challenge (OPCC). The city impressed the OPCC international expert jury with its strong leadership and ambitious plans to align the city with the 1.5°C target of Paris Agreement on climate change.

255 cities from 53 countries accepted WWF’s 2019-2020 One Planet City Challenge, publicly reporting their climate data on the CDP-ICLEI joint reporting system. Based on their data reporting, OPCC cities were evaluated on their performance with regards to mitigation and adaptation plans and activities, as well as the level of ambition and efforts to align to the Paris Agreement and its 1.5°C target.

The Mexican capital submitted plans demonstrating political ambition on climate change, including commitments and actions in line with 1.5°C, and a regulatory framework to implement local climate policies. Mexico City demonstrated ambitious commitments across several sectors, including progress in its adaptation actions, designing an early warning and detection system for natural disasters. The city implemented ambitious mitigation policies, like the creation of a massive public transport system and a wide network of public bicycles. Mexico City has improved regulation of heavy diesel construction machinery and implemented a new system to improve the energy efficiency of street lighting, wells, and pumping plants.

“The ambition of Mexico City’s plans is admirable,” said Marco Lambertini, General Director of WWF International. “As one of the largest and most populated cities in the world, Mexico City faces many challenges, but its planning, progress and ambition in the climate agenda demonstrates forward momentum. The city’s adaptation and mitigation targets and actions, across key sectors including transportation and energy, exemplify the type of actions that large urban areas should learn from and strive for. Especially considering cities are responsible for circa 70% of carbon emissions worldwide and thus play a fundamental role to meet the 1.5°C target.”

Mexico City joins Vancouver, Cape Town, Seoul, Paris and Uppsala in the prestigious list of global winners recognized by WWF since the City Challenge inception in 2013, becoming the first Latin-American city to do so. These cities demonstrate impressive actions and strategies for combating climate change, while simultaneously improving urban residents’ quality of life. Through this recognition, WWF aspires that these cities continually raise their level of ambition.

In the next stage of the OPCC, finalist cities, including Mexico City, will participate in WWF’s We Love Cities campaign from 14 September- 11 October. We Love Cities is the public participation arm of the OPCC, engaging citizens to express support for cities’ sustainability work through votes on Facebook, Tweets, and Instagram photos, as well as to submit suggestions on how cities can be more sustainable. WWF shares these suggestions with participating cities, encouraging them to use these as a base for continued dialogue and public engagement.


Notes to Editors

One Planet City Challenge International Expert Jury:
  • Rana Adib, Executive Director, Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21)
  • Kyra Appleby, Global Director, Cities, States and Regions at CDP
  • Qiu Baoxing, Counselor of the State Council of China, Chairman of International Water Association (IWA) China Committee, President of the China Society for Urban Studies
  • Barbara Buchner, Executive Director, Climate Finance, Climate Policy Initiative
  • Alice Charles, Lead, Cities, Infrastructure & Urban Services, World Economic Forum
  • Andrea Fernandez, Director of Climate Planning, Finance and Partnerships, C40
  • Wee Kean Fong, Deputy Country Director, WRI China
  • Russell Galt, Director, IUCN Urban Alliance
  • Franz Gatzweiler, Executive Director, ICSU-UNU-IAMP Urban Health and Wellbeing Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Nick Godfrey, Director of the Coalition for Urban Transitions, New Climate Economy
  • Daniel Hoornweg, Professor of Energy Systems and Engineering/ Richard Marceau Chair, Ontario Tech University
  • Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, Regional Director for Africa, World Bank’s Sustainable Development Practice
  • Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director of OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities
  • Margaret Kim, Chief Executive Officer, Gold Standard Foundation
  • Shannon McDaniel, Director of Data Strategy at Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM)
  • Alexandre Meira da Rosa, Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
  • Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlements Programme
  • Sameh Naguib Wahba, Global Director, Urban Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice, World Bank
  • Anthony Nyong, Director, Climate Change and Green Growth, African Development Bank
  • Gabriela Prata Dias, Head, Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency
  • Aromar Revi, Director, India Institute of Human Settlements
  • Seth Schultz, Global Executive Director, The Resilience Shift, Senior Advisor on Cities, Climate & Environment, Team Bloomberg, Founder/CEO of Urban Breakthroughs
  • Manoj Sharma, Chief of Urban Sector Group, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank
  • David Simon, Professor of Development Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London and Advisor, Sustainable Urban Futures, Chalmers University of Technology
  • Ben Smith, Director, Energy & Climate Change Consulting, Arup
  • Maryke van Staden, Director, Bonn Center for Local Climate Action and Reporting, ICLEI
  • Nicola Tollin, Professor, UNESCO Chair on Urban Resilience, University of Southern Denmark
For more information, please contact:
Barbara Evaeus - Global Communications Manager, WWF Cities at WWF Sweden
Jatziri Pérez - Communications Manager at WWF Mexico
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About WWF
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 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.

About One Planet City Challenge
The One Planet City Challenge is a WWF initiative to mobilize action and support from cities in the global transition toward a sustainable one-planet future. It aims to stimulate the development and dissemination of best practices for climate mitigation and adaptation. for latest news and media resources
Aerial view of Mexico City
© Edward Parker / WWF