Addressing the climate crisis requires action across every sector of society. From electric buses to green buildings, Park City, Utah is one city that is leading the way. The city has been selected from among 22 municipalities as the U.S. National Winner of WWF’s One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) program.
“Cities account for 70% of carbon emissions and generate more than 80% of global GDP,” said Kevin Taylor, U.S. program director for the OPCC at WWF US. “Park City earned this award because they showed how cities can address these emissions and be important testbeds, and multipliers of climate solutions. It’s also important to acknowledge Los Angeles and Cleveland who were finalists for this award as well as many cities around the country that deserve recognition for helping carry the mantle of climate leadership. They showed we can all influence positive change on climate action.”
“Park City is honored to be selected as the U.S. winner for the WWF One Planet City Challenge,” states Park City Mayor Andy Beerman. “Our community has long recognized the impacts and significance of climate change, and we are proud to have set one of North America’s most ambitious climate goals. My hope is that a small mountain town achieving net-zero carbon inspires more communities to take action. We are committed to becoming a carbon-neutral community by 2030 and look forward to sharing our ideas and experiences with the world.”
The One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) is the largest and longest-running competition of its kind in the world. More than 400 cities on five continents have participated since the international program began in 2012. This year alone, over 250 cities across 53 countries took part, sharing their efforts to cut carbon pollution and build resilience to climate-related impacts.
© Park City, Utah
© Park City, Utah
The ongoing crisis of the coronavirus pandemic makes this year’s OPCC different. Like many threats and impacts from climate change, COVID-19 is hitting cities hard, and especially communities of color and indigenous peoples here in the US. The process of recovery will be long, will take all of us, and has to build back to an economy that is resilient, just, and prosperous accounting for the ongoing crisis of climate change.
“Cities, tribes, and local governments are among those being hardest hit by COVID-19,” Kevin Taylor says. “WWF supports each of these institutions, and many others in business, higher education and healthcare. Through the pandemic we’ve seen them rise to the moment, but not lose sight of or their commitment to climate action. They are showing us the interconnections between COVID-19 and climate and ways to combat both crises and how we can build back better as we look toward recovery.”
The OPCC will help spread the great ideas of Park City and others through that global network of over 250 participating cities, to replicate success in electrifying transportation, greening buildings, expanding parks and open space, and a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy. This work will put Americans back to work.
Being selected as the US National Winner puts Park City in the running with 58 cities from around the world for WWF’s We Love Cities challenge, which runs through October 11. This campaign supports stronger dialogue and relationships between cities and their residents—creating together a better vision for their future.
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