Congratulations to Vancouver, Canada’s Earth Hour Capital!

The international expert jury has voted, and we have a winner: Vancouver has been named the Canadian champion of WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge.  Vancouver is now in the running with five other country finalists chosen from 66 city entrants for the top prize of 2013 global Earth Hour Capital.
Vancouver, as the Canadian winner, is vying for top honours with country finalists in India, Italy, the U.S., Sweden, and Norway which are taking the most innovative action on climate change. From the six country winners, a global champion will be announced March 19, in Malmo, Sweden by an international jury led by Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Choosing Vancouver as Canadian winner, the jury noted “Vancouver’s holistic and long-term vision on urban development, the effort toward local city food systems, and ambitious targets for government performance.”
“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,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “In Vancouver we’re demonstrating that building a greener city fosters a strong local economy, and we look forward to learning from and competing with other cutting-edge cities from around the world in the final stage of the Earth Hour City Challenge.”
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Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson shows his green commitment © David Niddrie
A solar-powered airport in Cochin, India; wind-energy back up for a bus station in Coimbatore, Italy; and traffic lights that give priority to city buses in Uppsala, Sweden were among the innovative steps being taken by 66 cities in six countries that originally entered their submissions to the city challenge. Vancouver was chosen from among three Canadian finalists, including Surrey and Colwood.
“This award confirms Vancouver is well on its way to achieving its ambitious goal of becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020,” said Linda Nowlan, WWF-Canada’s Director of Pacific Conservation. “It 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.  Congratulations to Vancouver on being named Canada’s Earth Hour Capital, and to our finalists, Surrey and Colwood, who also displayed outstanding leadership.”