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Earth Hour Header 2014
Congratulations to Vancouver for being named both the Global Earth Hour Capital and the People's Choice winner for the Earth Hour City Challenge! Vancouver's successful public engagement was confirmed by the range of contributions received via social media and on the People’s Choice platform, with the city receiving the most public recognition of its sustainability actions of the 17 finalists cities. Read more about why Vancouver was named the Global Earth Hour Capital below.
EARTH HOUR CITY CHALLENGE
Founded in Sweden to celebrate Earth Hour 2011, the Earth Hour City Challenge initiative was created to celebrate cities that are taking innovation actions towards creating a greener, cleaner and more sustainable city to live in, while inspiring other cities to do the same.
In 2013, Vancouver in Canada was named the first ever Global Earth Hour Capital.
Vancouver was a unanimous victor in the Earth Hour City Challenge for its ambition to be global leader on climate-smart urban development The city’s overall holistic and strategic approach to climate action – specifically its impressive transportation strategy, solid actions on the impact of food and progressive neighbourhood energy plan – were seen as evidence of how Vancouver aims to play an active role in the global transition towards a 100% renewable future within the next few decades.
Example targets for Vancouver include that by 2020 all new buildings are to be carbon neutral in their operations; citizens are to make over 50% of trips by foot, bicycle or public transport; and the number of green jobs is to have doubled.
With more than 70% of the world’s CO2 emissions generated by 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. The plans and relevant data are submitted via an internationally recognized carbon reporting platform for cities, managed by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. Outreach and support to cities will be provided in collaboration with ICLEI and the final plans and data reviewed by an international jury. .
The jury will 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., Cities from Canada, India, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the United States were invited to participate in this first international pilot, and after carefully reviewing the merits of the six finalists, the EHCC jury of experts unanimously cast their votes for Vancouver as the first ever Global Earth Hour Capital. Also in the running for the title were finalists Forlì in Italy; New Delhi, India; Oslo, Norway; Uppsala, Sweden; and San Francisco, USA.
The international jury will be looking for cities that have already recognised the climate challenge and started to measure and report their emissions. Awarded cities will also be busy launching innovative, participation based and ambitious initiatives, taking the city closer to a 100% renewable and sustainable economy. Or advancing the low carbon agenda, with pace and a clear strategic connection between actions and targets. In order to level the playing field, the panel will take into account differences in resources and starting points; the Earth Hour City Challenge is not about having the most hi-tech plans, but about commitment and innovative thinking focusing on solutions that promote attractive, one-planet lifestyles.
Jury members confirmed:
- Gino van Bergin, Secretary General of ICLEI
- Conor Riffle, Head of CDP Cities
- Simon Giles, Senior Principal Intelligent Cities, Accenture Global, Accenture
- Martha Delgado, General Director of the Secretariat of the Global Cities Covenant on Climate
- Dan Hoornweg, Professor and Jeff Boyce Research Chair, Faculty of Energy Systems and Engineering, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
- Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary
- Pietro Laureano, architect and urban planner, is a UNESCO consultant
- Amanda Eichel, Director of Initiatives and City Support, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
A total of 66 cities from participating pilot countries accepted WWFs challenge and submitted their plans for low carbon development and strategies for dramatically increasing the renewable energy use. The EHCC jury of experts unanimously cast their votes for Vancouver as the first ever Global Earth Hour Capital in 2013. Also in the running for the title were finalists Forlì in Italy; New Delhi in India; Oslo in Norway; Uppsala in Sweden; and San Francisco in the USA.
The following 17 finalists from the six pilot countries were selected by WWF.
June - 19 November 2012 - city candidates to register and submit plans
December - February 2013 - International jury selects finalists
February 15 – March 15, 2013 People’s Choice Campaign – Welcome to vote for your favorite finalist!
March 19, 2013 – Global Earth Hour Capital and People’s Choice Award announced at Earth Hour City Conference in Malmö, Sweden
Please note that the entry period for Earth Hour City Challenge 2012-13 has now closed. The international jury will now proceed with the selection process.
In 2012 the City Challenge is open to cities in Canada, India, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the United States. If your city deserves global recognition for its effort to increase the use of renewable energy and reduce climate impact, then register for 2012 participation information here. In 2013, the challenge will be open to even more countries so contact us to register your interest early.