Seoul has been awarded the title of “Global Earth Hour Capital 2015” by the Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC), which is hosted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in partnership with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.
The Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) Awards was initially designed in an attempt to promote the achievements made by cities around the world to become climate-friendly, eco-friendly cities, and this year marks the third anniversary of the awards ceremony since its launch in 2013. From among cities that submit details of their efforts to become more eco-friendly—including pledges, activities, and carbon emission reduction achievements—to ICLEI’s carbonn Climate Registry (cCR), a reporting platform for the initiative, winners are selected through a comprehensive, in-depth evaluation by an international jury of experts from the UN, international organizations, and international institutions.
In 2014, Seoul was appointed as one of the National Earth Hour Capitals, and has now been awarded the title Global Earth Hour Capital for 2015, being recognized as the top eco-friendly city in the world. This year, 163 cities participated in the Earth Hour City Challenge, two times more than last year (66 cities).
It was announced that the Seoul Metropolitan Government had successfully engaged Seoul citizens in addressing environmental issues through a myriad of initiatives, including “One Less Nuclear Power Plant” and “Eco Mileage.” As a rising megacity in Asia and a recognized leader in local climate action, the city’s innovative thinking and strong initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing renewable energy use received high acclaim.
Other National Earth Hour Capitals (15 countries) include: Paris, France; Vancouver, Canada; Jakarta, Indonesia; City of Singapore, Singapore; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Tshwane, South Africa; Montería, Colombia; Córdoba, Spain; Lahti, Finland; Thane, India; Petaling Jaya, Malaysia; Puebla, Mexico; Gothenburg, Sweden; Hatyai, Thailand; and Evanston, USA.