2013 Earth Hour award recognizes cities for sustainable, low-carbon development plans
The Wildlife Fund (WWF) has declared Vancouver the Canadian champion for the coveted 2013 global Earth Hour City award.
This decision puts the city in the final round of the 2013 Earth Hour City award which recognizes a city each year for sustainable low-carbon development plans.
“Vancouver’s holistic and long-term vision on urban development, the effort toward local city food systems, and ambitious targets for government performance” contributed to its becoming the national Canadian winner, according to the jury behind the selection.
Vancouver beat out Surrey Colwood to become the Earth Hour national champion. The city will now be pitted against five other cities from four continents and five countries for the top award.
International finalists come from Canada, India, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the U.S. are now vying for the prestigious award.
While the Indian city of Cochin is betting on a solar-powered airport, Uppsala in Sweden has come up with an idea to introduce traffic lights that prioritize public buses.
Cities participating in Earth hour are eligible to compete for the award which judges cities on “ambitious, holistic, inspiring and credible plans for low carbon development and for dramatically increasing the use of sustainable and efficient renewable energy solutions in the next few decades” according to the WWF.
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Vancouver has set itself an ambitious target to become the greenest city in the world by 2020. The city plans to double the number of green jobs from 2010 levels, make more than 50 per cent of the trips in the city through bicycle, foot and public transit and reduce its solid waste going to landfill or incinerators by 50 per cent from 2008 levels.
Critics including Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation have slammed the plan as a pain in the wallet for taxpayers.
The recent decision by WWF has come as sort of vindication for Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson who said after the announcement, “Being named the Canadian winner of WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge is a strong validation of our efforts to be the greenest city in the world by 2020.”
“It (the award) will shine a global spotlight on Vancouver’s impressive record, including the fact that the city has the lowest per capita greenhouse gas emissions of all cities in North America,” said Nowlan of WWF Canada.
Earth Hour 2013 will be held on March 23.