Tshwane named South Africa’s Earth Hour Capital 2015

The City of Tshwane has been selected as South Africa’s Earth Hour Capital 2015 in recognition of the city’s green initiatives, which are moving it closer to its goal of becoming the leading green capital in Africa. Tshwane was awarded this title as part of the global Earth Hour City Challenge, a collaborative effort between the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, which aims to mobilise action and support from cities in the global transition toward a sustainable energy future.

#EarthHour 2015Earth Hour has fast become a massive global environmental campaign – mobilising hundreds of millions of people in more than 7,000 cities and 162 countries and territories around the world. In 2015, Earth Hour aims to harness the power of its millions of supporters worldwide to change climate change. People around the world will take actions and switch off lights for Earth Hour 2015 at 20:30 in all local time zones – and encourage others to Use #YourPower to change climate change.

Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Councillor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, says that her long term vision for the city of Tshwane includes cutting edge sustainability programmes that will see a radical shift from the way business is currently undertaken.

“There is no other option but to transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient and climate resilient city that generates the maximum number of employment opportunities and stimulates new and innovative industry. I am humbled by the panel’s decision to select Tshwane as the South African Earth Hour Capital, it is indeed encouraging to see that our efforts are being recognised and I take this as motivation for us to further enhance our current sustainability efforts”, said Executive Mayor Ramokgopa.

The City of Tshwane has prioritised sustainability by setting up a Sustainability Unit located at the heart of decision-making within the municipality. Specific initiatives noted by the jury in their decision included its Green Buildings by-law (the only one in the country) and the retrofitting of all municipal buildings for improved energy efficiency. Other actions being taken include a new bus rapid transport (BRT) scheme, the introduction of low-carbon vehicles and greener fuel for the Municipal fleet, and the construction of bicycle lanes.

This is the third year that WWF is recognising cities for helping build a sustainable and safe energy future and Tshwane is one of 44 finalists from countries around the world competing for the title of Earth Hour Global Capital. The actions and commitments reported by these cities will be reviewed by an expert jury which will then present one city with the global earth hour capital award in Seoul, South Korea on 9 April.

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