With more than 70% of the world’s CO2 emissions generated by cities, the Earth Hour City Challenge has been created to mobilize action and support from cities in the global transition towards a climate friendly one-planet future.
The jury is currently reviewing development plans for building, transport, energy and food systems – solutions that will make a city greener and cleaner and improve living standards for residents – and this week we are celebrating two of our Canadian contender cities.
City of Edmonton
Since their membership in the Partners for Climate Protection program began in 1995, Edmonton has taken some incredible steps towards sustainability, including:
- –In 1999, City Council accepted a GHG Emissions Strategy for city operations and in 2000 endorsed a resolution urging federal, provincial and territorial governments to make climate protection a priority. A stakeholder-driven consultative approach (called CO2RE ) was used to develop a multi-sector long-term strategy with challenging but realistic and accomplishable community-wide goals.
- –Between 2004 and 2007, CO2RE program delivery focused on helping residents improve home energy efficiency through education and financial incentives.
- –In 2001, Edmonton launched the Fuel Sense Program. Drivers trained through the program typically achieve fuel savings of 15%.
- –Conversion to LED traffic signals in 2006
- –Effective January 1, 2008, all new City-owned buildings and major renovations will be designed and constructed to meet LEED Silver Standard as a minimum, and be formally LEED certified.
- –Energy Efficiency improvements were made to City Hall. The project focused on the replacement of all the windows in the building.
Earth Hour, March 28, 2009 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, lights of the city before Earth Hour. © Darren Jacknisky, WWF-Canada
City of Richmond
Since their membership in the Partners for Climate Protection program began in 2001, Edmonton has taken some incredible steps towards sustainability, including:
- –Incorporating high performance characteristics into their corporate facilities for a number of years. The Sustainable High Building Performance Policy for City owned facilities strives to strengthen previous practice by formalizing corporate commitment to full-cost evaluation (e.g. short and long-term costs); establishing specific management objectives for guiding City decision-making and adopting nationally recognized standards by which to measure building performance and report corporate success.
- –Undertaking various activities which have raised corporate awareness about the potential impacts of climate change both on the corporate and community levels. The program proposes two targets focused on raising awareness corporately (within the City government) and on raising awareness in the community: 1) To have all City Managers and other key personnel undertake climate change Awareness education by 2012, and 2) To have 100% of elementary students engaged in a select grade in Climate Change Showdown by 2013.
Congratulations City of Richmond on all your accomplishments.