WWF Earth Hour City Challenge 2015 Now Has Its 44 Finalist Cities

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This year’s WWF Earth Hour City Challenge now has its finalists, as revealed in a recent press release from the organization. These 44 finalist cities, selected from all around the world, have been chosen due to their actions in building “a sustainable and safe energy future.”

2015 will mark the third year that WWF has awarded the “Earth Hour Capital” award to a city that’s demonstrated support for “sustainability” through its recent actions + commitments.

WWF Earth Hour

This year’s award will be presented at the National Earth Hour Capital Awards in Seoul, South Korea, on April 9th, 2015.

“Cities are leading the way toward a fair, climate-resilient future. While national governments have largely talked about solutions, real changes are being created everyday from the solar streetlamps to the clean transit systems of the world’s cities,” stated Carina Borgström-Hansson, Lead for WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge.

The aim of the program is reportedly to spur action + support in cities around the world, with regard to the transition to a renewable energy–based future. With supposedly important climate talks coming up later this year in December, this program is looking to make an important statement this year through the awards process, according to WWF. (Considering the relative inertia of large governments and systems, and the incredibly difficult and growing issue of climate change and its associated effects, it’s an open question my mind whether these talks will accomplish anything of actual value. Other than news headlines I suppose….)

Those interested in voting for the cities that you think are doing well with regard to sustainability and renewables can do so at the organization’s website — for the next 8 weeks or so.

“Cities are innovation hotspots that are creating solutions to put the world on track for a climate-safe future. To help them succeed, we urgently need supporting action from policy-makers, businesses and financial institutions that are prepared to slam the door on fossil fuels and open it fully for a renewable future,” stated Borgström-Hansson.

“Cities are constantly finding new ways to tackle climate change and scale up their climate actions. Many of these actions are already showcased on ICLEI’s carbonn Climate Registry,” stated Gino Van Begin. “Through our partnership with WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge, more cities have been inspired to set ambitious climate targets, report against these targets, and provide an excellent example of what is possible not only for other cities, but also for the global climate community.”

The 2014 winner was apparently Cape Town, South Africa — which was recognized for “demonstrating how low-carbon development and climate change mitigation can be accomplished while simultaneously addressing other development priorities.”

The 44 finalists listed below (representing 16 different countries) were selected from amongst 163 total entrants.

Here they are:

  • Brazil: Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo
  • Canada: Edmonton, North Vancouver, Vancouver
  • Colombia: Bucaramanga, Monteria, Santiago de Cali
  • Finland: Espoo, Lahti, Tampere
  • France: Besançon, Nantes, Paris
  • India: Pune, Rajkot, Thane
  • Indonesia: Balikpapan, Jakarta, Semarang
  • Malaysia: Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam
  • Mexico: Puebla, Hermosillo, Toluca
  • Singapore: Singapore
  • South Africa: Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane
  • South Korea: Changwon, Seoul, Wonju
  • Spain: A Coruña, Córdoba
  • Sweden: Eskilstuna, Gothenburg, Västerås
  • Thailand: Hatyai, Khon Kaen, Mapammarit
  • United States: Cleveland, Evanston, Seattle

Image Credit: WWF

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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