WWF has launched the One Planet City Challenge 2019 in which cities are being asked to show how they aim to deliver on the Paris Agreement by limiting their climate impact.
The new assessment framework for the One Planet City Challenge will be based on data from the UN climate panel – the IPCC. Participating cities will be asked to compare their current emissions with the emission reductions needed to reach the 1.5 Deg C target.
Said Louise Scholtz, WWF South Africa’s Urban Future Programme Manager: “By joining WWF’s One Planet City Challenge, local authorities receive a professional assessment of their current performance and advice about the most effective steps they can take to limit global warming to below 1.5 Deg C.”
This will establish the ambition levels required, taking into account each city’s level ofdevelopment. Local governments will also receive guidance as to how they can most effectively bring about reductions and advice on how best to adapt to the anticipated impacts of climate change.
The challenge concludes in 2020 with an international expert jury nominating winners in each participating country. From those cities, the jury will choose a global winner – with the most compatible action plan to limit warming to 1.5 Deg C.
Cities are already responsible for more than 70% percent of global CO2 emissions. It is estimated that 66% of the global population will be living in cities by 2050 so leading cities have an important role to play in showing the way forward. By demonstrating how it’s donecities can have a major influence on the rest of the world. WWF wants to work with these cities to help them make the most effective choices and to spread their learning to other cities.
South African cities to have participated in the One Planet City Challenge (previously known as the Earth Hour Challenge) are eThekwini (2018 national winner), Cape Town (global winner 2014) and Tshwane (twice a national winner). During the 2018 competition, eThekwini was deemed to be the strongest competitor in South Africa for its “well-rounded focus” onenergy consumption targets and actions as well as for expanding its mobility offering.
Global winners of the One Planet City Challenge have been: Uppsala, Sweden (2018), Paris, France (2016), Seoul, South Korea (2015), Cape Town, South Africa (2014) and Vancouver, Canada (2013).
More on the One Planet City Challenge
WWF’s One Planet City Challenge began in 2011 and is the world’s largest and longest- running challenge of its type. The assessment criteria, which integrate data from the IPCC is new for 2019. So far, more than 400 cities around the world have taken on the challenge. These have already reported over 5 700 actions with an accumulated potential for emission reductions of 3.9 Gt CO2e. This year the challenge will be run in around 20 countries covering half the population of the world.