With more than 70% of the world’s carbon emissions generated by residents in cities, the Earth Hour City Challenge has been created to mobilize action and support from cities in the global transition towards a sustainable, climate-resilient future. (Lory Tan / WWF)
Hosting over 3.5 billion people, the world's cities are the main growth centres of population, consumption, resource use, and waste. In cities, everything is closely connected. Thus, problems tend to multiply – but so can solutions. Through improved transport, green buildings, harnessing renewable energy sources, and wasting less, cities can lead the way to a sustainable future.
To promote urban solutions in a climate-defined future, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) is inviting Philippine cities to participate in the global Earth Hour City Challenge 2016, which aims to identify and highlight positive examples of sustainable urban development. A National Earth Hour Capital will be recognized and will have the opportunity to be hailed as Earth Hour Global Capital. Past challenge winners include Vancouver, Canada and Seoul, South Korea.
WWF-Philippines launched the initiative at an event titled ‘Rise to the Challenge: Is Your City Leading the Way Towards Urban Sustainability?’ held on 27 August 2015. The activity gathered representatives from various local government units.
Started by the WWF Global Network in 2011, the Earth Hour City Challenge celebrates cities around the world that are taking notable steps to create a greener, cleaner, and more sustainable city to live in.
“This year is the first time the Philippines is joining the challenge. We believe the time is ripe because of increasing local government initiatives on climate change,” says Atty. Angela Consuelo Ibay, Earth Hour Philippines National Director and WWF-Philippines Climate & Energy Programme Head.
“Our country has actively participated in Earth Hour, the world’s largest voluntary mass action for the environment. The Philippines has been hailed Earth Hour Hero Country for five straight years for having the highest number of towns and cities joining the one-hour lights-off. This 2016, we have the opportunity to move forward and play a bigger role in the movement for climate-smart communities. We are inviting Philippine cities to rise to the challenge and be an inspiration for communities around the globe,” she adds.
The theme for Earth Hour City Challenge 2016 is Bridging the Gap to 2020, which will focus on powerful, inspiring, and creative actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to solutions for food, water, and energy security. Participants will be evaluated on the ability to promote sustainable lifestyles and showcase commitment, innovative thinking plus leadership for urban sustainability. All participating cities will get the opportunity to receive feedback on their plans and actions reported during the Earth Hour City Challenge. Cities can submit to WWF-Philippines their expressions of interest until 15 September 2015.
Based on an evaluation process with dialogues from an international jury, a selection of three leading Philippine cities will be the country’s entries to the global Earth Hour City Challenge. After a thorough review by an international jury of experts, a national Earth Hour Capital will be recognized and the city with the most holistic and inspiring plan for reaching the target will be rewarded the title Global Earth Hour Capital.
The WWF Global Network works closely with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability in mobilizing cities to join the challenge. ICLEI provided the use of its Carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) as the reporting platform for the initiative.
For more information, please contact:
Atty. Angela Consuelo Ibay
Earth Hour Philippines Director
Ms. Sophia Dedace
Communications Officer, WWF-Philippines