WWF announces finalists of global Earth Hour City Challenge; three Indian cities in running for award for climate-friendly actions

WWF announces finalists of global Earth Hour City Challenge; three Indian cities in running for award for climate-friendly actions

New Delhi, 21st Jan 2014: WWF announced recently the finalists of their global initiative, the Earth Hour City Challenge 2014. Created by WWF in 2011, the Earth Hour City Challenge initiative celebrates cities that are taking innovative actions towards creating greener, cleaner and more sustainable cities, while inspiring other cities to do the same. In 2013, Vancouver, Canada was named the first ever Global Earth Hour Capital, with New Delhi being in the running among the six finalists.

Of the 163 cities from the 14 countries that participated in the challenge this year, 34 have qualified as finalists. Among these, three Indian cities, Hyderabad, Cochin and Coimbatore, have made it to the finals, following a thorough assessment by an international jury of experts based on impact as well as vision towards achieving low carbon economy. One city per country will then be announced as the Global Earth Hour Capital in a ceremony on 27 March in Vancouver, Canada.

These cities will also compete in a public campaign to select the city most deserving of the We Love Cities Award, to be presented in Vancouver. The campaign will run for two months, starting January 17th, and will be promoted via a common voting platform and social media. The objective of this public-driven campaign is to inspire and engage city communities and raise awareness for the progress being made in cities, as they strive to be a driving force in creating a sustainable future. Web visitors are invited to vote for their favorites among the 34 finalist cities, and to share the favorite aspects of these cities via photos and videos. Visitors are also welcome to submit suggestions for how the cities can become even more sustainable.

WWF has worked closely with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, in mobilizing cities to join the challenge and enabling their reporting through carbon Cities Climate Registry (cCCR). According to Dr. Sejal Worah, Programme Director, WWF-India, “These finalists are Indian cities that have already recognized the climate challenge and started to measure and report their emissions. The Earth Hour City Challenge not only recognizes their initiatives by way of encouraging their movement towards low carbon development, but also promotes such development and innovative thought by city municipalities across the globe. Ultimately, the Challenge is not about having the most hi-tech plans, but about a commitment towards ensuring sustainable development in cities.”

The three Indian cities in the running for the We Love Cities Award were short-listed based on their individual accomplishments. In Coimbatore, these include the installation of solar cookers in municipal schools, the installation of LEDs and preparations for a 84MW solar power plant. The Cochin airport is the first in India to generate electricity through solar power for its daily operations, while the Waste to Energy (W2E) Project in Cochin is the first plant in India where municipal and industrial wastes are gasified to produce energy, used for power generation. In Hyderabad, measures such as providing tax rebates for green properties, the wide dissemination of environmental building guidelines and the introduction of mandatory energy auditing for buildings are some key steps towards sustainable development of the city.


Notes to Editors

Earth Hour City Challenge Jury:

Gino van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI
Martha Delgado, General Director of the Secretariat of the Global Cities Covenant on Climate
Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary
Simon Giles, Senior Principal Intelligent Cities, Accenture Global, Accenture
Dan Hoornweg, Professor and Jeff Boyce Research Chair, Faculty of Energy Systems and Engineering, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Pietro Laureano, architect and urban planner, UNESCO consultant
Conor Riffle, Head of CDP Cities
Aromar Revi, Director, Indian Institute of Human Settlements
John F. Cook, Executive Director, US-Mexico Border Mayors Association
Alexandre Meira da Rosa, Manager of Infrastructure and Environment Sector, Inter-American Development Bank
Gil-hong Kim, Director Sustainable Infrastructure Division, Asian Development Bank
Seth Schulz, Director Research, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

About WWF- India:

WWF-India is one of the largest conservation organizations engaged in wildlife and nature conservation in the country. It has an experience of over four decades in the field and has made its presence felt through a sustained effort not only towards nature and wildlife conservation, but sensitizing people by creating awareness through capacity building and enviro-legal activism. The mission of WWF-India is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.

It is a part of WWF International, which is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 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.

http://www.wwfindia.org/news_facts/ for latest news and media resources

For more details, kindly contact:

Ms. Rituparna Sengupta

Senior Manager, Communications WWF-India

rsengupta@wwfindia.net I 011-4150-4797

Rajendra Ganotra is the Editor of Spicy Stars Mumbai

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