VANCOUVER, March 19 (Xinhua) -- The City of Vancouver stood out of 66 cities and was awarded Global Earth Hour Capital 2013 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on Tuesday for its efforts to address climate change.
The award was set up with an aim to mobilize action and support from cities in the global transition towards a climate-friendly future. Finalists were selected among 66 participating cities from Canada, India, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the Unite States, according to WWF.
"Local governments around the world are striving to create attractive, smart cities while tackling a multitude of urgent environmental challenges. Vancouver can serve as a role model for how cities can engage residents in these efforts, thereby accelerating the transition towards low carbon development," said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International.
The city's overall holistic and strategic approach to climate action - specifically the Vancouver Transportation 2040 strategy, support for local food and a progressive neighborhood energy plan - were seen as evidence of how Vancouver will play an active role in the transition towards a climate friendly future, WWF said.
While Vancouver's population and economy continue to grow, vehicle use is declining while walking, cycling and transit use are steadily increasing.
The goals set out in Vancouver's Greenest City 2020 Action Plan include ensuring that all new buildings are carbon neutral in their operations; increasing the number of green jobs in Vancouver; and seeing residents make over 50 percent of trips by foot, bicycle or transit.