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​​Vote now to show your love for a greener Joburg

 

Johannesburg’s leadership role in the fields of green initiatives and energy savings has been recognised by the world’s most respected environmental organisation.

The City was selected as a finalist in the global Earth Hour City Challenge organised annually by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF). The efforts of more than 160 cities on five continents were considered by WWF experts but only 44 metros were included on the final shortlist.

An expert jury will now review actions and commitments submitted by the finalists and announce a sustainability leader per country and a global winner on April 9 in Seoul, South Korea. Members of the public – including residents of Johannesburg – will also be able to vote for their favourite city in a global online campaign.

Johannesburg Mayor Councillor Mpho Parks Tau, says the City’s selection as one of three top-performing cities in Africa is evidence of the City’s success to create a more sustainable future for its growing population in an urban environment.

“Joburg was the first city in Africa to launch a green bond to the value of R1.5-billion on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange to fund green initiatives,” he says. “This bond, which was oversubscribed by more than 150% will be used for future programmes such as the installation of 43 000 solar heaters in households across the city.

This will not only lead to substantial energy savings at a time when the national electricity grid is under severe pressure, but also ensure the long term sustainability of Johannesburg,” says Mayor Tau.

Johannesburg hosted the prestigious C40 Climate Leadership Summit of megacities in 2014 where Mayor Tau noted that the City is investing R110-billion in climate change initiatives over a 10-year period, starting in 2012.

Making the announcement about Johannesburg’s shortlisting, the WWF’s project leader, Carina Borgström-Hansson said the competition recognised the reality that cities are leading the way towards a fair, climate-resilient future. This is an exceptionally important year because all world leaders will gather in Paris in December to make global commitments towards reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and switch towards sustainable energy sources.

The WWF is at the forefront of these initiatives. Earth Hour was first launched in 2007 when hundreds of millions of people in 160 countries around the world were motivated to switch off their lights for 60 minutes. This marked a symbolic gesture of concern about the harmful impacts of climate change.

Since then, the campaign has grown into a broader initiative which includes the annual Earth Hour City Challenge.

Five actions you can take to support Joburg in the global Earth Hour Challenge