|By Marketwired .||
|March 27, 2014 11:30 PM EDT||
VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - March 27, 2014) - On the eve of Earth Hour 2014, WWF's Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) has awarded the City of Cape Town, South Africa the title Global Earth Hour Capital 2014. Cape Town is recognized for its ambitious and pioneering actions to combat climate change to bolster quality of life for its citizens. The City win was announced tonight at the Earth Hour City Challenge Awards Galas hosted by the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Economic Commission
Cape Town was selected by an international jury of experts and succeeds last year's winner, the City of Vancouver, Canada. The City Challenge also invited people around the globe to vote for their favourite green city in the people's choice We Love Cities online campaign. Tied for first place were Medellin, Colombia and Khunhan, Thailand. This year, the international expert jury paid particular attention to cities' innovation and ambition in taking steps towards a low carbon future.
A total 163 cities from 14 countries joined the competition, more than double the participation from last year. The Earth Hour City Challenge has been created to mobilize action by cities in the global transition toward 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.
Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson
"Cities are pushing the pace when it comes to action on climate change, and the Earth Hour City Challenge is a great way to recognize cities that are leading the way," says Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
"Being selected as WWF's 2013 Earth Hour City Challenge Winner was a great honour and important validation of Vancouver's work to become the Greenest City in the world by 2020, and I want to congratulate Cape Town for their work to reduce global warming pollution and build a greener economy. It's great to see cities around the world implementing ambitious changes to confront climate change and building stronger, more resilient communities and economies as a result."
WWF-Canada, President and CEO David Miller
"With this week's forthcoming UN report on climate impacts and vulnerability, Cape Town serves as an excellent model of how a city in the global South can take urgent and concrete action on climate change," says David Miller, President and CEO of WWF Canada.
"Our international leaders who have the responsibility to conclude an international climate agreement in Paris next year, must now provide the ambitious framework to help all cities and nations bring about climate action at the required scale and speed."
Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille
Global Earth Hour City Capital winner
"Taking the baton from Vancouver as WWF's Global Earth Hour Capital 2014 is an exceptional honour for Cape Town and is international endorsement of our comprehensive efforts around sustainability," says Patricia de Lille, Executive Mayor of Cape Town.
"We are overjoyed that Cape Town has been selected from among so many great cities striving to create attractive, smart cities while tackling a multitude of urgent environmental and social challenges. We know we have a lot more work to do and the Earth Hour City Challenge is a great way for our city and our community to be inspired to continue moving forward."
WWF is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature thrive. www.wwf.ca.
About WWF's Earth Hour
Join hundreds of millions of people worldwide and switch off your lights on Saturday, March 29 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Visit www.wwf.ca/earthhour to join the movement.
WWF's Earth Hour is an opportunity for individuals, businesses and communities around the globe to unite in a powerful call to action of hope for a better, healthier planet. In Canada, the Toronto Star is the national sponsor and the Ontario Power Authority is a regional sponsor. As sponsors for WWF's Earth Hour, Toronto Star and Ontario Power Authority will harness their incredible ability to engage employees and reach customers in spreading our message and encouraging individual action.