Today, the World Wildlife Foundation announced that the City of Cleveland, along with the cities of Evanston and Seattle, are finalists in World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour City Challenge, a year-long challenge recognizing cities responding to the threats of climate change and reducing their carbon footprint. The cities were chosen by WWF and global management consultancy Accenture for transitioning their communities toward a climate-friendly future.
One of these cities will serve as the 2015 U.S. Earth Hour City Capital and receive funding from WWF to advance local climate readiness efforts. Over 40 local governments from across the country are members of this year’s group of Earth Hour City Challengers.
Under Mayor Frank G. Jackson, the City of Cleveland is striving to build “a green city on a blue lake” and a reputation among its peers for innovative and ambitious climate action.
The city has been an active participant in the Earth Hour City Challenge from the program’s beginning in 2012, when it won the Earth Hour Climate Leadership Award and support from WWF for its Mayor’s Sustainability Summit which brought together over 500 Clevelanders for two days to guide the city’s green initiatives.
This year, Cleveland is working with WWF on “Solarize Cleveland,” a program to bring rooftop solar to residents around the city and county.
“I am pleased that the City of Cleveland is being recognized as an Earth Hour City Challenge finalist for our greenhouse gas reduction targets,” said Chief of Sustainability Jenita McGowan. “We see climate action as a key way to position Cleveland for the future as we transition to a more sustainable economy.”
The 2015 U.S. Earth Hour City Capital will be announced in February and will then compete with finalist cities from 16 other countries across WWF’s network for the title of Global Earth Hour Capital. All told, more than 160 cities participated this year.
For the designation as Earth Hour Capital, each of the country finalists’ climate plans are being evaluated by an international panel of climate policy and sustainable development experts. Actions to promote renewable energy are prominently featured in this year’s challenge.
Read the full press release from the World Wildlife Foundation here: http://www.worldwildlife.org/press-releases/cleveland-evanston-and-seattle-lead-in-climate-change-action