MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Davao City, Dipolog City, and Quezon City have been selected as national finalists for World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) 2021-2022. These three cities were selected among the 16 qualified cities from the Philippines.
One Planet City Challenge is a friendly global competition initiated by WWF to recognize cities for their climate actions and ambitions and assess whether they align with the goals set forth in the Paris Agreement in limiting climate change to 1.5 °C.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, climate change directly impacts cities and urban life. Increasing global temperatures result in rising sea levels and more extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, and storms, particularly affecting coastal communities. Further, increases in the spread of vector-borne and water-borne diseases and heat-related illnesses have affected urban populations as global temperatures increase.
The recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report reinforces these findings, stating that cities are areas of concentrated risk to climate change with losses due to infrastructure damage and disruption in services and affected supply chains already occurring. Cities are also areas where opportunities for delivering urgent climate action abound.
Cities are also key contributors to climate change, as urban activities are significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions. An estimated 75% of global CO2 emissions are from cities, with transport and buildings being among the largest contributors.
However, some cities have started to use renewable energy sources, implement regulations to limit industrial emissions, and institute energy efficiency measures. Many have undertaken climate actions to increase their city’s resilience with its residents and businesses adapting to the changing climate. Others have also enforced laws that help to restore and preserve the environment.
In OPCC, cities are encouraged to present their best practices and holistic plans to substantially reduce the effects of climate change and accelerate climate transformation.
For the 2021-2022 leg of OPCC, there are a total of 280 cities participating, coming from 50 countries. Since its inception 10 years ago, close to 600 cities from 53 countries on 5 continents have already participated in this challenge.
One Planet Cities Project Manager for WWF-Philippines Imee Bellen hopes that more Philippine cities will participate in OPCC in the near future. “We are always welcome to showcase inspiring transformative urban solutions to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.”
Atty. Angela Ibay, Head of Climate and Energy Programme of WWF-Philippines, also encouraged citizens to help their cities boost their capacity to respond to the climate crisis.
“The cities’ plans would not come to life if it wasn’t for the collective action of its residents. However, we as individuals can still make a difference on our own. Even the most trivial habits, such as reducing energy consumption, can have a long-lasting impact on the community and nature.”
The three Philippine finalists, along with those finalists from other countries, also have qualified to participate in the OPCC’s We Love Cities campaign, which aims to bridge and foster better communication between city officials and the citizens they represent on climate and sustainability issues.
All OPCC finalists will be evaluated by an international jury panel with members who are leading experts within the field of urban sustainability from around the globe. The winners will be announced this May-June 2022.
For more information and updates about One Planet City Challenge, visit http://panda.org/opcc.