Today, cities joined together in committing themselves to WWF’s Seize Your Power pledge calling for the redirection of investments away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. They banded together in a commitment to ‘a future powered by nature’, demonstrating their support in what is a global and growing movement toward clean and sustainable cities, and breaking the inertia of the age of fossil fuels – namely coal, oil and gas.
For us here at WWF it also demonstrates that the urgent imperative to change the global energy system is much more achievable when combined with an imperative that is both environmental and economic.
Nine cities from all over the world yesterday joined this call out to governments and financial institutions worldwide to significantly and dramatically increase investments in renewable energy. The occasion was WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge awards ceremony, celebrating cities with exemplary efforts and actions on sustainability, in a large part enabled by renewable energy solutions.
- Belo Horizonte, Brazil
- Brussels, Belgium
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Lappeenranta, Finland
- Seoul, South Korea
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Coimbatore, India
This is the vast spread of global cities who committed themselves to scaling up investments in renewable energy solutions -and development that is based on a just transition away from coal, oil and gas.
Vancouver, Canada – the host city of the WWF ceremony – also came forward to sign on the pledge that very simply put, binds cities to a better form of development through clean and sustainable energy. The past Mayor of Toronto, David Miller - now the CEO of WWF-Canada – hailed cities to come forward, show support and invest in solutions!
Big change often faces big resistance; and later bigsupport- perhaps that’s the way human civilisation works. The coming together ofnearly 10 cities- from the global north as well from the developing countries – bears testimony that the age of renewable energyis around the corner. Yet, we’re not yet at the crucial tipping point, like they say. That is whystrong, continued and sustained efforts -including symbolic calls to action like one we saw todayfrom the cities – will add cumulatively and rapidly to our common vision of a planet where people live in harmony with nature.
This week just happens to also be the timing of theUN conference and scientific report release on the impacts of climate change, and the world’s vulnerability to it.The timing could not be clearer for bold actions by cities coming together in support of renewable energy. In fact, it serves as an excellent model of how cities – irrespective of their size and scale -can provide an ambitious framework to solve the climate change conundrum, and do it fast.