Canadian finalists revealed in WWF Earth Hour City Challenge

Edmonton, Saanich, B.C., and Vancouver vie to become Canadian Earth Hour Capital, the winner of which then competes to be named Earth Hour Global Capital.

TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2016 /CNW/ - WWF-International has chosen Edmonton, Saanich, B.C., and Vancouver as Canada's finalists in the 2016 WWF Earth Hour City Challenge.

The Earth Hour City Challenge recognizes cities that go beyond turning out their lights for Earth Hour on March 19. The challenge is a competition among cities worldwide to promote and implement renewable energy and prepare for climate change.

These three finalists were selected from cities across Canada that have been working to establish more sustainable, resilient cities. They now vie for the title of Canadian Earth Hour National Capital. The chosen capitals from each country then compete for the title of Earth Hour Global Capital.

What happens next:

  • Canada's Earth Hour Capital will be announced in May.
  • Canada's Earth Hour Capital then contends for the title of Global Earth Hour Capital.
  • People can also vote online for their favourite sustainable city from among finalists in the We Love Cities challenge from April 25 to June 19, 2016.
  • The global Earth Hour Capital, all the national capitals, as well as the city with the greatest public engagement in the We Love Cities voting will be celebrated during the UN Habitat III conference Oct., 17-20, 2016 in Quito, Ecuador.

To decide the global finalist, the international jury of sustainability experts will look for cities that have:

  • Taken actions to bridge the gap between the current global commitment to stem global warming and the additional action necessary to keep global warming below the 2C mark;
  • Demonstrated accountability through ambitious public climate commitments;
  • Report inspiring, big-win climate actions resulting in GHG reductions;
  • Provide benefits for communities in relation to food, water and energy security challenges.

What David Miller, WWF-Canada president and CEO, had to say:
"Cities are responsible for more than 70 per cent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, with transportation, electricity generation and the heating and cooling of buildings among the largest contributors. Edmonton, Vancouver and Saanich are examples to cities everywhere on how to take action to combat climate change."

What Richard Atwell, Mayor of Saanich, B.C., population 110,803, had to say:
"The District of Saanich is thrilled to be nominated for this highly respected award. Our commitment to leading by example in our operations, and supporting community sustainability programs has helped set a path towards an energy efficient and low-carbon future for our municipality."

What Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver, population 603,500, had to say:
"The City of Vancouver is very excited to be nominated for the Earth Hour City Challenge award by the world's best known conservation organization. Vancouver residents and businesses alike are committed to reducing our city's carbon pollution while growing our economy. Our leadership to successfully cut greenhouse gas emissions while leading the country in economic growth continues to be an example for the world, and that action is being further strengthened with Vancouver's commitment to 100 per cent renewable energy before 2050."

What Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton, population 877,926, had to say:
"It's such an honour to be selected as a finalist for the Earth Hour City Challenge for the third year in a row. With initiatives like the newly approved Energy Transition Strategy, our city is continuing to tangibly advance our sustainability efforts. We are proud that our goal of creating a carbon neutral future is being locally embraced and globally recognized."

More detailed findings are available on WWF-Canada's website: www.wwf.ca/events/earthhour/challenge/

About WWF

WWF-Canada is part of WWF-International (World Wildlife Fund), one of the world's largest and most respected conservation organizations. WWF-Canada has close to 50 years of experience implementing science-based knowledge and research into on-the-ground projects. WWF is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature thrive. Visit wwf.ca for more information.

SOURCE WWF-Canada

For further information: Philippe Devos, director of communications and media, WWF-Canada, 416 453 0092, media@wwfcanada.org

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