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Two South African cities have been selected as finalists in the 2014 Earth Hour City Challenge, a global competition that recognises the substantial long-term efforts of cities to combat climate change.
The two contenders – Cape Town and Durban – were among six South African cities that participated in a collaborative programme between WWF and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability by registering their green urban development plans for building, transport, energy and food systems on the carbonn Cities Climate Registry (cCCR), an internationally recognised carbon reporting platform managed by ICLEI. Participating local cities included the City of Johannesburg, the City of Tshwane, Buffalo City Municipality and Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.
CEO of WWF South Africa, Dr Morné du Plessis:
”We are absolutely delighted to see six South African cities taking up the mantle and proudly participating in this global challenge. This is a clear indication that South African cities are consciously taking steps towards more sustainable futures for the well-being and propsperity of their citizens. Healthy environments result in healthy and happy people. I look forward to seeing more South African cities taking part in the challenge in future – and, who knows, perhaps even winning!”
An international jury panel is scrutinising the information supplied by finalist cities in order to select national Earth Hour Capitals and the overall Earth Hour Capital to be awarded at the Earth Hour City Challenge Conference and Awards Ceremony in Vancouver, Canada, in conjunction with the international conference GLOBE 2014. The 27-28 March awards ceremony will cooincide with global Earth Hour celebrations.
Citizens of participating countries will have an opportunity to express their support for their favourite cities among the finalists through WWF’s We Love Cities social media campaign, which will run from 17 January to 20 March 2014. The favoured city will also be recognised at the Vancouver ceremony.
Climate Change Mitigation and the eThekwini Municipality Manager Carla Higgs:
”eThekwini Municipality (Durban) is pleased to be recognised globally for their efforts and achievements in climate action. Durban has for a number of years implemented climate change adaptation and mitigation measures that lead the way to a greener and more sustainable city. Being a finalist in the Earth Hour City Challenge is an important acknowledgement of the City’s climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy, a worthy achievement and encouragement to keep working towards our goals.”
City of Cape Town’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Patricia de Lille:
”We are overjoyed that Cape Town has been selected as one of the finalists in the WWF Earth Hour City Challenge. Along with 33 other cities from all over the world, Cape Town is being acknowledged for the incredible efforts being made by so many individuals and organisations across the city striving to make this a more sustainable, more habitable city. Now Cape Town’s residents have the opportunity to mobilise towards that dream with the same spirit, ingenuity, and accountability that we saw with the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.”
ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability - Africa, Urban Low Emission Development Strategies Project Manager Steven Bland:
"We are delighted for ICLEI Members Cape Town and Durban- they are outstanding representatives for South Africa in the global competition. We look forward to supporting all the participating cities in South Africa to work towards their goals of a low-carbon, sustainable urban future for their citizens- it is in our hands!"