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Earth Hour City Challenge: Canadian finalists announced

A big congratulations goes out to the three Canadian finalists: Edmonton, Vancouver and North Vancouver for the Earth Hour City Challenge!

©WWF

©WWF

For the third year, the Earth Hour City Challenge recognizes 44 cities from 16 countries around the world as leaders in helping to build a sustainable and safe energy future. The Earth Hour City Challenge works to mobilize action and support from cities to work toward a sustainable future powered by renewable energy.

Today, 80% of the Canadian population lives in cities, which generate more than 70% of the world’s CO2 emissions. While cities are feeling the effects of climate change,urban infrastructure is more important than ever and cities are in a unique position to work towards sustainability. Just look at what our Canadian finalists have done:

Vancouver

It’s no doubt, Vancouver makes the list with a plan to become “The Greenest City in the World” by 2020. The city has nearly 100 initiatives in place to make this happen. Like “the green and digital demonstration program,” which gives the city’s innovative entrepreneurs temporary access to Vancouver’s buildings, streets and vehicles for demonstrations and proof-of-concept trials.

The city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. © Jeremiah Armstrong / WWF-Canada

The city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. © Jeremiah Armstrong / WWF-Canada

Edmonton

Last year’s Canadian Earth Hour City Capital winner makes the list once again! Their world-first waste-to-biofuel facility proves Edmonton is on the forefront in becoming the nation’s leader in reducing emissions from city operations. The co-financed facility will convert 100,000 tons of municipal solid waste to 38 million liters of ethanol each year. That’s enough to power 400,000 cars! Edmonton is also becoming a leader in solar energy, installing six on community buildings and has conducted pilots on rebates for installing solar electric systems.

Canadian finalists

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson and WWF-Canada President and CEO David Miller celebrate Edmonton’s naming as Canada’s 2014 Earth Hour Capital. © City of Edmonton

City of North Vancouver

A finalist once again, the City of North Vancouver has set some exciting emissions targets for 2020 and is committed to transportation to achieve these targets. Their goal is to reduce community emissions by 15 per cent and government operations emissions by 25 per cent. The city is working to ensure that every resident lives within 300 meters of a bicycle route and is developing cycling facilities with a special focus on supporting children and seniors.

Pedestrian and cycling signs, Vancouver, Canada. © Istockphoto.com / WWF-Canada

Pedestrian and cycling signs, Vancouver, Canada. © Istockphoto.com / WWF-Canada

Please join us in congratulating these wonderful cities who are working towards great action on climate change! These cities are an inspiration for sustainability from coast to coast. And, stay tuned, as an expert jury will review the actions and commitments reported by all 44 cities and identify one sustainability leader per country for the National Earth Hour Capital Awards to be presented on April 9.

Don’t forget to vote for your favourite cities, share what you love about them via photos and videos, and submit suggestions for how they can become more sustainable. Show your support for the impressive efforts all finalist cities are making towards sustainability.

Earth Hour invites people all over the world to nominate and vote for cities that have demonstrated a sincere commitment to the creation of sustainability. The winner of the 2013 Earth Hour City Challenge, now known as the We Love Cities campaign, was Vancouver.  In 2014 Cape Town was crowned the We Love Cities champion.  Who will it be in 2015?  Have your say! Vote at We Love Cities today!