MANILA, Philippines – Batangas City, Muntinlupa, and Santa Rosa in Laguna were named finalists in a global competition that recognizes cities with effective climate change action plans.
The competition, called One Planet City Challenge (OPCC), is held by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) every year. One to 3 cities per participating country are chosen as finalists.
A jury composed of urban sustainability experts then chooses one national winner per country and one global winner. The awarding ceremony is set to take place in mid-2020.
Batangas City, Muntinlupa, and Santa Rosa bested other Philippine cities in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions, thus contributing to the global target of keeping the global average temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. This was the goal set by countries in the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change signed in 2015. (READ: Global warming: What if we do nothing?)
WWF-Philippines Executive Director Jose Angelito Palma expressed appreciation for cities that factor in climate mitigation and resilience in their planning.
The 3 Philippine urban centers join cities like Vancouver in Canada, Reykjavic in Iceland, Mexico City, Paris, Los Angeles City, and Dong Hoi City in Vietnam.
WWF said this year’s competition attracted the most number of entries, with all 250 city participants accounting for 66% of the global population.
“In these trying times, being business-as-usual in the way we do things is no more sufficient to secure a safe and sustainable future. I would like to acknowledge the cities who participated in this initiative for pursuing innovative ways towards sustainable and healthy cities for the current and future generations,” he said in a WWF-Philippines press statement.
Cities and the fight to mitigate global warming
Participating cities were asked to report carbon emissions, reduction targets, and goals to a standardized platform using “expert-verified methodology.
Their data is then assessed and measured against the standard emissions trajectory for their type of city needed to keep global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The competition aims to spread awareness of the role that cities play in curbing climate change.
The world’s cities produce 70% of carbon emissions, even as they generate 80% of the world’s gross domestic product. More than half of the humanity reside in cities.
Their political and economic power means cities are critical to reducing carbon emissions, which drive global warming. – Rappler.com
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