Santa Rosa City is the Philippines’ first National Earth Hour Capital

After a series of jury deliberations, Santa Rosa City grabbed the title as the first National Earth Hour Capital of the Philippines under the Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) programme of WWF. The City’s entry showcased strong sets of commitments and actions towards building a climate-smart environment within its locality.

The proximity and accessibility of Santa Rosa from Metro Manila makes it a strategic place for local and foreign businesses as well as suburban residences, leading to the City’s branding as the ‘Investment Capital of South Luzon.’ The City’s 2010 greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory reports that the city had an estimated total emission of 1,935,342.29 tCO2e, more than half of which was attributed to the industrial sector. The industries identified in the report include glass production, semiconductor, electronics and air-conditioning. Several mitigation and adaptation initiatives were reported by the City in the carbonn Climate Registry, a reporting platform managed by ICLEI that was used by all participating cities in the EHCC.

The GHG Management Framework Plan of the City identified a number mitigation actions, such as the conversion of fluorescent lights to LED at the City Government Offices; conversion of streetlights to solar lights; greening of government-owned areas and open spaces private developers; centralized composting facility; and charcoal briquetting project using coconut husks and water hyacinth as raw materials. The city is also set to update its GHG inventory. In response to the country’s strategy of putting emphasis on adaptation, Santa Rosa City is also strengthening its adaptation actions, which will be reflected in the ongoing process of developing the City’s local climate change action plan (LCCAP) under the ICLEI-Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) Process.

EHCC is an initiative of WWF that aims to recognize and continually challenge cities around the world to showcase best practices for climate change mitigation and adaptation. This year, 125 cities in 21 countries participated in EHCC. Philippine cities joined the challenge for the first time this year, including Makati, Paranaque, Quezon City, Santa Rosa, Naga, San Carlos, and Cagayan de Oro City.

The Global Earth Hour Capital was awarded to Paris, France. Dubbed the ‘City of Light,’ Paris joins the ranks of Vancouver, Cape Town, and Seoul as Global Earth Hour Capitals in previous years. The winner of the We Love Cities Campaign, the public engagement arm of EHCC, will be announced on June 30, 2016. The public can still vote for their favorite cities through social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) by using the respective hashtags of the cities or through the WLC official website,

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