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Vancouver in the Running for International Earth Hour City

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/05/13 --

Editors Note: There is a photo accompanying this press release.

Vancouver has been named national winner of a WWF green city challenge, putting the Canadian city in the running with five other country finalists chosen from 66 city entrants for the top prize of global Earth Hour City, 2013.

Vancouver, as the Canadian winner, is vying for top honours with country finalists in India, Italy, the U.S., Sweden, and Norway in WWF's Earth Hour City Challenge, an initiative to recognize cities around the world taking the most innovative action on climate change. From the six country winners, a global champion will be announced March 19th, in Malmo, Sweden by an international jury led by Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Choosing Vancouver as Canadian winner, the jury noted "Vancouver's holistic and long-term vision on urban development, the effort toward local city food systems, and ambitious targets for government performance."

A solar-powered airport in Cochin, India; wind-energy back up for a bus station in Coimbatore, Italy; and traffic lights that give priority to city buses in Uppsala, Sweden were among the innovative steps being taken by 66 cities in six countries that originally entered their submissions to the city challenge. Vancouver was chosen from among three Canadian finalists, including Surrey and Colwood.

Quotes

"Being named the Canadian winner of WWF's Earth Hour City Challenge is a    
strong validation of our efforts to be the greenest city in the world by    
2020. In Vancouver we're demonstrating that building a greener city fosters 
a strong local economy, and we look forward to learning from and competing  
with other cutting-edge cities from around the world in the final stage of  
the Earth Hour City Challenge."                                             
  - Gregor Robertson, Mayor, Vancouver                                      
                                                                            
"This award confirms Vancouver is well on its way to achieving its ambitious
goal of becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020. It will shine a    
global spotlight on Vancouver's impressive record, including the fact that  
the city has the lowest per capita greenhouse gas emissions of all cities in
North America. Congratulations to Vancouver on being named Canada's Earth   
Hour Capital."                                                              
  - Linda Nowlan, Director, Pacific Conservation, WWF-Canada                

Facts

--  Vancouver's city council has developed a comprehensive plan to establish
    Vancouver as the world's greenest city by 2020. The Greenest city 2020
    Action Plan outlines how Vancouver will achieve its goals, including: 
    --  Reduce community-based greenhouse gas emission by 33 per cent from
        2007 levels 
    --  Double the number of green jobs over 2010 levels 
    --  Reduce Vancouver's ecological footprint by 33 per cent over 2006
        levels 
    --  Make the majority (over 50 per cent) of trips by foot, bicycle, and
        public transit 
    --  Reduce solid waste going to landfill or incinerators by 50 per cent
        from 2008 levels

About WWF

WWF is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature thrive. www.wwf.ca

About the Earth Hour City Challenge

Founded in Sweden to celebrate Earth Hour 2011, the Earth Hour City Challenge initiative was created to celebrate cities that are taking innovation actions towards creating a greener, cleaner and more sustainable city to live in, while inspiring other cities to do the same. Visit www.earthhour.org/citychallenge for more details on the challenge, jury and finalists.

About WWF's Earth Hour

Join hundreds of millions of people worldwide and switch off your lights on Saturday, March 23 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Visit www.wwf.ca/earthhour to join the movement.

WWF's Earth Hour is an opportunity for individuals, businesses and communities around the globe to unite in a powerful call to action of hope for a better, healthier planet. In Canada, BMO Financial Group and the Toronto Star are the national sponsors, Ontario Power Authority is a regional sponsor and Staples Canada is the education sponsor. As sponsors for WWF's Earth Hour, BMO Financial Group, Toronto Star, Ontario Power Authority and Staples Canada will harness their incredible ability to engage employees and reach customers in spreading our message and encouraging individual action.

To view the photo accompanying this press release, please visit the following link:

http://www.marketwire.com/library/20130305-GregorRobertson.jpg

This news release and associated material can be found on www.wwf.ca.

Contacts:
WWF Canada
Riannon John
416-347-1894
[email protected]

WWF Canada
Jo Anne Walton
604-787-3103
[email protected]

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