World Wildlife Fund names Vancouver 2013 Global Earth Hour capital

March 19, 2013 – The City of Vancouver, Canada, was named Global Earth Hour Capital 2013 by the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC). The award was presented today at an awards ceremony in Malmo, Sweden.

The Global Earth Hour Capital award is given to the city that takes serious action to combat climate change issues. Vancouver was unanimously selected by the EHCC jury as the winner city because of its innovative actions in creating sustainable, climate-friendly urban environment.

Vancouver selected as the Earth Hour Capital 2013. Image © City of Vancouver

Urban community garden in Vancouver. Image © City of Vancouver

Out of 66 participants, Vancouver beat 16 other finalists, including New Delhi, Oslo, Uppsala and San Francisco. In addition, by receiving the highest number of votes, Vancouver won the People’s Choice award, beating 17 other nominated cities in the People’s Choice campaign.

“Being named the WWF’s Global Earth Hour Capital is an exceptional honour for Vancouver and more international validation of our comprehensive efforts to be the world’s greenest city,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Even as national governments fail to act, it’s essential that cities continue to lead the way in confronting climate change, and Vancouver’s progress demonstrates that building a greener city also fosters a stronger local economy.”

The City’s overall holistic and strategic approach to climate action – specifically its impressive Transportation 2040 strategy, support for local food, and a progressive neighbourhood energy plan – were seen as evidence of how Vancouver will play an active role in the global transition towards a climate friendly future.

“Local governments around the world are striving to create attractive, smart cities while tackling a multitude of urgent environmental challenges. Vancouver can serve as a role model for how cities can engage residents in these efforts, thereby accelerating the transition towards low carbon development,” said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International.

According to the goals set out in Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, it is targeted that by 2020, all new buildings are carbon neutral in their operations; more that 50% of residents’ trips will be made by foot, bicycle or public transport; and the number of green jobs will double.

Earth Hour 2013 global event is taking place on 23 March 2013, from 20:30h to 21:30h in your local time zone.