Four Vietnamese cities have entered a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) competition to encourage innovative ways to create a more sustainable, climate-friendly future, the organization said in a statement on Thursday.
The cities of Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An and Dong Ha have registered for the One Planet City Challenge, a biennial competition initiated by the WWF to recognize and reward cities for developing housing, transport and mobility solutions to power the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future, the WWF said.
“Cities can be the blueprint and inspiration for a sustainable world,” Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, said in the statement. “Progressive climate policy by local governments can radically reduce the impact of transport, housing and other high-emitting sectors and deliver greener, healthier and more livable cities and homes for people.”
The imperial city of Hue was the first Vietnamese city to join the competition last year.
Inspired by Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An and Dong Ha will submit their action plans in September, with technical support from WWF-Vietnam.
The One Planet City Challenge, open to cities in 25 countries this year, is aimed at mobilizing action and support for global climate efforts, including the goals set forth by the Paris Agreement.
"Now we can be proud that our cities are already taking concrete action with specific and measurable results to fight climate change,” the statement quoted Pham Cam Nhung at WWF-Vietnam, as saying.
Entrants will be evaluated by an international jury of experts on areas ranging from urban planning and transport, to consumer behavior and energy systems, said the WWF. The most ambitious cities will be recognized as national winners, and one of them will be crowned the global winner of the One Planet City Challenge.
The WWF will profile the winning cities’ achievements in a global digital campaign designed to strengthen public support for city-led climate action.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the competition, formerly known as the Earth Hour City Challenge, which has engaged over 320 cities across five continents since its inception.
Vietnam has been demonstrating a commitment to green growth as it reforms and seeks investment to address high vulnerability to climate change.
Since 1990, Vietnam has enjoyed one of world's fastest GDP per capita growth, averaging 6.4 percent a year in the 2000s. This has also put increasing pressure on the country’s natural resources, the World Bank said.
Air pollution levels rose in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, rivers became more polluted and greenhouse gas emissions almost tripled between 2000 and 2010, and climate change and environmental degradation in rural and coastal areas began to threaten the livelihoods of farmers and fisheries.
Vietnam is currently undergoing economic restructuring towards a more sustainable footing under its green growth strategy for 2011-2020. The country ratified the Paris Agreement in November 2016, under which it has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent by 2030.