WWF’s longest running competition for sustainable cities opens for 2023

The One Planet City Challenge is a friendly biennial competition that aims to help cities deliver commitments to limit the rise in global temperature to below 1.5C

The One Planet City Challenge (OPCC), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) initiative that recognizes cities for their ambitious and innovative climate action plans and targets, is back in the Philippines for the fifth time for the 2023-2024 cycle.

OPCC started in 2011 and is a global challenge where WWF provides action-oriented recommendations to cities. Since then, 700 cities from nearly 70 countries in six continents have participated at least once in the competition. In the Philippines, a total of 22 cities have joined since the first run in 2015. For the last leg of OPCC, Davao City, Dipolog City, and Quezon City were shortlisted as national finalists. Dipolog City emerged as the OPCC 2021-2022 National Winner, and also became the "Most Lovable Philippine City" for 2022. Former national winners include the cities of Santa Rosa, Pasig, and Batangas.

This friendly biennial competition aims to help cities deliver the commitments in the Paris Agreement to limit the rise in global temperature to below 1.5C and to recognize those who are making substantial progress in their mitigation and adaptation actions balanced towards their goals. According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, cities consume over two-thirds of the world's energy and are responsible for over 70% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Their potential impact is expected to double by 2050.

This year, the One Planet Cities (OPC) program is introducing a Customized Strategic Feedback Report that is tailor-made for each city to enable better tracking and monitoring a city's climate journey. This guidance is, among others, based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urban mitigation strategies identified in their latest summary. The OPCC

is an example of how WWF aims to democratize global climate science by adapting it to local urban contexts, working with cities on their reported climate action plans to improve and elevate them on their journey towards a 1.5°C planet, using science-based targets and the latest science.

Further, to celebrate the national and global frontrunners, all shortlisted cities will be able to showcase their work to their citizens through the We Love Cities campaign and also collect their feedback suggestions. In 2022, the We Love Cities campaign received 1.3 million global votes and 116k feedback suggestions for participating cities – its social media reach was 447 million globally.

WWF's OPCC recognizes that there has never been a more urgent time for climate action than now and that cities are key to our success. On a global level, we need a network of multidimensional urban responses to tackle the climate emergency. Cities are central to implementing our global goals to make progress. WWF-PH hopes that more cities lead the charge in becoming climate-smart cities.

Cities who are interested in joining OPCC 2023-2024 may submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) from March 30 to April 19. Those interested are required to fill up a checklist, together with a cover letter signed by the City Mayor.

To receive the checklist, please email opcc@wwf.org.ph. OPCC will initially screen the applications based on the checklist and will later announce the list of qualified cities. For more information and updates, please visit http://panda.org/opcc.

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