Evanston named finalist in World Wildlife Fund competition for second consecutive year

Robin Opsahl, City Editor

Evanston is a finalist in the competition to represent the United States in World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour City Challenge for the second year in a row, competing against Burlington, Vermont, and Boulder, Colorado.

The Earth Hour City Challenge is an international competition for cities transitioning toward 100 percent renewable energy and addressing climate change on a local level. There are 124 cities across 21 countries competing, with contenders including Chicago, New Delhi and Seoul, South Korea.

In 2015, Evanston represented the country in a global conference on sustainability in local government, where the city placed fourth worldwide on local sustainability and renewability efforts.

Evanston’s sustainability efforts this year include being on pace to achieve its goals from its 2014 Evanston Livability Plan, which pledged to reduce emissions by 20 percent relative to 2005 baseline levels. The city also provides 100 percent renewable energy for residents and small businesses participating in its electricity aggregation program, which offers electricity for purchase through renewable energy sources like wind farms.

If Evanston wins the title of U.S. Earth Hour Capital, it will proceed to the global conference again and receive funding from WWF to further its sustainability programs.

The WWF will announce the National Earth Hour Capitals in May, according to the competition’s website.

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Twitter: @robinlopsahl