Ten cities qualify to join One City Planet Challenge » Manila Bulletin News

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By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Ten  Philippine cities  have successfully qualified to join the One City Planet Challenge (OPCC)–a biennial global recognition of cities for developing infrastructure, housing, transport, and mobility solutions  to low-carbon and climate-resilient future.

For the 2017-2018 OPCC, four of the 2015-2016 Philippine participating cities, namely Makati, Parañaque, Naga , and San Carlos, are continuing their commitment to the global challenge as qualifying cities.

Completing the list are Pasig, Batangas, Catbalogan, Zamboanga, Davao, and Tagum.

The qualifiers to the latest edition of the OPCC were chosen based on the criteria announced by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) earlier this year.The OPCC was formerly known as the Earth Hour City Challenge.

WWF logo (Photo courtesy of wwf.org.ph)

Any city in the world can join as long they meet at least three of the following criteria: high-level of ambition and ability to deliver on commitments and transformational change; ability to integrate actions into coherent and overarching climate action plans; determination to align with a transparent, science-based GHG emission reduction trajectory; and innovative approaches to addressing urban mobility.

In the past four runs of the City Challenge, over 320 cities across five continents had been engaged.

When the Philippines took part for the first time in the Challenge’s 2015-2016 edition, seven of its cities were among the 124 participants from around the world.

Santa Rosa City in Laguna went on to become one of the “national capitals,” while Paris was declared the “global capital.”

WWF-Philippines president and CEO Joel Palma, who has stressed the importance of cities in the transition towards a low-carbon and sustainable future when the call for participation was made in April, expressed his delight in the increase of the number of qualifying Philippine cities this year.

“This turnout just proves that a lot of cities in our country are becoming more committed in global climate efforts. Hopefully, this paves the way for more cities to enable their people and communities to thrive and prosper while respecting the ecological limits of our one and only planet,” he said.

The Philippine qualifiers will now be part of the official list of global entries that will be evaluated by an international jury of experts on areas ranging from urban planning and transport to consumer behavior and energy systems.

National winners will be determined and one of those will be hailed as the global winner.

All winning cities will be featured in a global digital campaign designed to strengthen public support for city-led climate action.

Finalists of the OPCC, designed by WWF to mobilize action and support from cities in global climate efforts including the goals now set forth by the Paris Agreement, will be announced during the second quarter of 2018.

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