SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Esmeralda Swartz, Kevin Jackson

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Three Canadian Cities Chosen as Green Leaders in Global City Challenge

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - January 17, 2014) - Three Canadian cities, Edmonton, North Vancouver and Surrey, have been chosen finalists in WWF's Earth Hour City Challenge 2014, selected by an international jury of sustainability experts for impressive city actions on climate change.

The Canadian finalists were selected from 11 participating cities in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, demonstrating strong commitments to a greener, renewable future.

Edmonton's ambitious sustainability plan, North Vancouver's commitment to carbon neutrality by 2107, and Surrey's increase in use of renewable energy through innovative waste-to-energy solutions were among the city highlights considered in their selection as finalists.

The Canadian cities join municipalities such as Rio de Janeiro, Capetown and Cochin -- a total of 34 cities in 14 countries around the world, all vying for the greenest city title of global Earth Hour Capital 2014. One Canadian city will also be chosen Canada's Earth Hour Capital, to be announced March 27 at an award ceremony hosted by Vancouver, the 2013 global Earth Hour Capital.

Canadians can also vote this year for the green city they love best in the We Love Cities campaign that goes live today, by posting photos, videos and climate friendly suggestions for the city of their choice.

In its second year, WWF's global Earth Hour City Challenge aims to mobilize action and support from cities in the global transition towards a sustainable future powered by renewable energy. 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).

Quotes

"WWF congratulates this year's Earth Hour City Challenge finalists and applauds all 11 Canadian city entrants who have shown measurable commitments to a greener future. This innovative municipal action demonstrates the leadership our country can and should aspire to on a national scale."
David Miller, WWF-Canada CEO and President

"It's very inspiring to see the increasing number of cities striving to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and making great strides in the transition towards a renewable energy future. Despite their commendable efforts, cities can't do it alone. If we are to protect the world from dangerous climate change while meeting human needs, a radical shift in investment must take place. In addition to local governments, national policy-makers, businesses and major financial institutions must be a part of this transition."
Carina Borgström-Hansson, WWF's Earth Hour City Challenge lead

*NOTES TO EDITORS

City Finalist Highlights

Surrey has developed a 50 year vision and Sustainability Charter. It's implementing this plan through comprehensive urban mobility plans, and increasing its use of renewable energy through ambitious waste-to-energy projects. North Vancouver has prioritized building retrofits and audits, with special policies for new construction; and is implementing a 20 year plan to encourage walking, cycling, electric vehicles and car sharing. Edmonton has an award-winning strategic plan on energy efficiency, reducing emissions and saving money, while ramping up plans on renewable energy.

11 Participating Canadian Cities

Ajax, Calgary, District of Saanich, Edmonton, Greater Sudbury, Montreal, North Cowichan, North Vancouver, Pickering, Surrey, Vancouver

34 Earth Hour City global finalists

Belgian: Antwerp, Brussels Capital Region, Ghent
Brazil: Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo
Canada: Edmonton, North Vancouver, Surrey
Colombia: Medellín, Monteria
Denmark: Copenhagen
Finland: Lappeenranta
India: Cochin, Coimbatore, Hyderabad
Indonesia: Semarang, Bogor
Mexico: Mexico City, Municipality of Aguascalientes, Puebla
South Africa: Cape Town, Durban
South Korea: Seoul, Suwon
Sweden: Eskilstuna, Stockholm, Växjö
Thailand: Khunhan, Muangklang, Nongsamrong
USA: Boulder, Chicago, Cleveland

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

WWF is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature thrive. www.wwf.ca

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