Earth Hour is taking place on March 23rd this year as cities around the world participate in 60 minutes of powering off to show the impact that can be made through energy conservation. In preparation for this year’s campaign, the World Wildlife Fund (hosts of Earth Hour) are running the first Earth Hour City Challenge. This international competition to recognizes cities that demonstrate leadership in reducing carbon pollution. Two local cities, Vancouver and Surrey, are among the 17 international city finalists.
The challenge invites cities to submit inspiring and credible urban development plans that dramatically increase the city’s use of renewable energy. The plans and relevant data are submitted via an internationally recognized carbon reporting platform for cities, managed by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. Outreach and support to cities will be provided in collaboration with ICLEI and the final plans and data reviewed by an international jury. The jury will review development plans for building, transport, energy and food systems – solutions that will make a city greener and cleaner and improve living standards for residents. The Earth Hour Capital, as well as six national capitals will be announced in March 2013.
You can go online now to vote for the People’s Choice Award until March 15, 2013 by:
- Clicking the Vote button on Vancouver or Surrey‘s profile
- Uploading photos of sustainable Vancouver or Surrey to Instagram with the tag #peopleschoiceVAN or #peopleschoiceSUR
- Adding suggestions for how Vancouver and/or Surrey can do even better at becoming the Greenest City in the world (follow instructions on the profile pages for each city).
The People’s Choice Award will be presented to the city that receives the greatest number of votes. Every photo and suggestion submitted will be counted. The other finalists are: Colwood (Vancouver Island); India: Delhi, Coimbatore, Cochin; Italy: Forli, Siena; Norway: Oslo, Stavanger, Arendal; Sweden: Malmö, Stockholm, Uppsala; USA: Chicago, Cincinnati, San Francisco.
In 2012, British Columbians saved 121 megawatt hours of electricity and reduced the provincial electricity load by 1.67 percent during Earth Hour – about the same as the 1.8 percent drop last year – and the equivalent of turning off about 9 million 12.5-watt LED light bulbs.
Update: Vancouver Wins!
Vancouver has won the City Challenge: “Today, WWF announced that Vancouver has been crowned the Global Earth Hour Capital for 2013, a prestigious honour that recognizes the city’s innovative actions on climate change and dedication to create a sustainable, vibrant urban environment. Vancouver was also named the People’s Choice winner, scooping the highest number of online votes.”