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Surrey Joins the Challenge to Become the 'Global Earth Hour Capital'

Aerial view of Surrey City Centre during the daytime.

September 12, 2012

Surrey – The City of Surrey has committed to dramatically increasing its use of renewable energy in an effort to become the ‘Global Earth Hour Capital’.

It’s part of the Earth Hour City Challenge, being organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The competition among cities is designed to encourage the transition towards a 100 per cent renewable energy future. It will reward pioneering cities that are leading the way towards a fully sustainable future.

“We’re excited to participate in this global sustainability challenge. The City of Surrey has been implementing many new initiatives to reduce, measure, and report our greenhouse gas emissions, and we are embarking on a new carbon neutral strategy which will help us become more energy-efficient and reduce our carbon footprint,” says Mayor Dianne Watts.

The international jury panel will review sustainable development plans for energy and food systems, building, and transportation, and look for strategic and innovative solutions that will make a city greener and cleaner and improve living standards for its residents.

The City of Surrey will demonstrate its commitment to reducing carbon emissions by highlighting various initiatives underway, including:

  • Creating a new District Energy (DE) Utility and City Centre DE system
  • Implementing a new waste collection program which diverts waste from the landfill by collecting organics separately from garbage
  • Introducing a fleet of 100 per cent Compressed Natural Gas waste collection trucks
  • Diversifying the fleet with hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell, electric, and compressed natural gas vehicles
  • Building alternative fuel infrastructure
  • Building an organics biofuel facility
  • Implementing new Cycling and Walking Plans, including the Safe & Active Schools program
  • Developing a new innovative agricultural strategy to enhance local food security
  • Developing the new Corporate Emissions Action Plan and target to reduce emissions by 20 per cent by 2020
  • Creating a Sustainability Dashboard, with interactive maps and targets to monitor progress
  • Creating a Community Energy and Emissions Plan, and Climate Adaptation Strategy

“Through our Sustainability Charter we are committed to making significant, long-term efforts to reduce energy consumption and waste, and to create more sustainable communities. It’s important to take a comprehensive look at how we run our city and implement best practices from around the world,” says Councillor Bruce Hayne, Chair of the Environmental Advisory Committee.

The Earth Hour City Challenge was piloted in Sweden last year. This year, cities from Canada, India, Italy, Sweden, Norway and the USA have been invited to participate in the Challenge to named the Global Earth Hour Capital.

For more information, please visit www.panda.org/citychallenge

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Media Contact:

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor
604.375.4584