Chicago was named the 2014 US Earth Hour City Capital after an international jury selected the city from among 60 participating US cities. The win is the culmination of WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge, a year-long effort to recognize cities preparing for extreme weather and promoting renewable energy.
The jury noted Chicago’s impressive commitment and demonstrable progress toward fighting climate change. Chicago will now represent the US as WWF’s 2014 Earth Hour Capital and receive $30,000 to kick-start a solar purchase program for residents.
“Building on a legacy of innovation and action, I am proud that Chicago and its residents are being recognized for their national leadership in sustainability and environmental issues,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Fostering economic opportunity and job creation ensures Chicago’s long-term livability and competitiveness. We all have a stake in our climate and the world we will leave for future generations.”
Be a part of Earth Hour 2014
Turn out your lights for Earth Hour on Saturday, March 29 at 8:30pm and show your commitment to a better future
WWF’s Keya Chatterjee, director of renewable energy and footprint outreach at WWF, added “The city’s efforts to make renewable energy accessible, like the one-day turn-around for rooftop solar project permits, along with its work to strengthen the public transportation system make it a ‘first city’ in climate-smart policy.”
Earth Hour and Beyond
On March 29 at 8:30 pm, Chicago will join other cities and individuals across the world to celebrate Earth Hour and commit to reducing our environmental impact. The city will host an Earth Hour celebration event, as the Willis Tower and other notable landmarks go dark for the hour.
Residents will be encouraged to “go beyond the hour” through a program to help homeowners install solar panels. This new city-wide program is funded in part by the Earth Hour City Challenge award.
Chicago is one of three cities to win Earth Hour City Challenge grants. The other two recipients are Santa Cruz County and Albany/El Cerrito, Calif., both of which are working toward community choice aggregation programs to provide renewable electricity to all of their residents.