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C40 Awards the 11 Best Cities of 2016 for Addressing Climate Change

Mexico City, Mexico (1 December 2016) – Eleven cities were honored yesterday at an awards ceremony in Mexico City. The C40 Cities Awards recognize the world’s most inspiring and innovative cities tackling climate change. Sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies and BYD, the C40 Cities Awards ceremony was held during the C40 Mayors Summit, where more than 40 mayors from around the world gathered to create sustainable and liveable cities for citizens.

“On behalf of C40, I want to congratulate all the winning cities for their commitment to their citizens and their dedication to tackling climate change,” said outgoing C40 Chair and Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes. “Throughout my tenure as C40 Chair, I have been increasingly impressed by the calibre of the C40 Cities Award winners, and I look forward to seeing other mayors around the world adapting and implementing these models in their own cities.”

“The C40 Cities Awards recognize the best and boldest work being done by mayors to fight climate change and protect people from risks,” said C40 President of the Board and U.N. Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg. “The winning projects show that great progress is being made on every continent, and they serve as an inspiration to other cities. They also show how cities can help the world meet the ambitious goals set a year ago in Paris.”

An expert jury panel comprised of former mayors, climate experts and others, selected ten winning urban sustainability projects based on excellence in urban planning and dedication to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving resiliency. The selected cities exemplified the best policies, projects and programmes globally, and for the first time included a category recognizing social equity.

“Today, we celebrate some of the projects that are key to delivering on the world’s climate ambition and will help put us on a path to a carbon-safe future,” said Chuanfu Wang, Chairman and President of BYD Co. Ltd. “We recognise the incredible human power and thoughtful consideration that goes into making these projects reality. BYD is extremely proud to support the Awards and help to accelerate the implementation of these truly innovative programs.”

Winning city projects are:

Addis Ababa (Transportation): The Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (LRT) Project has improved the city’s public transport system and created more than 6,000 jobs. The cumulative emission reduction potential of the LRT system is forecasted at 1.8 million tCO2e by 2030.

Addis Ababa is one of 10 recipients to receive the prestigious C40 Cities Awards 2016 as global recognition for cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. An Addis Ababa Light Rail Tram passes through Ethiopia’s largest business district Merakto, dubbed the business nerve of Addis Ababa. The electric powered rail line is 34 km long and was inaugurated in September 2015 with the hope that it would give the city’s residents a clean, fast mode of transportation. Despite the Ethiopian government building a network of roads across Addis Ababa, its roads are jammed with traffic causing misery for commuters and drivers alike. (Mulugeta Ayene/AP Images for C40)
Addis Ababa is one of 10 recipients to receive the prestigious C40 Cities Awards 2016 as global recognition for cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. An Addis Ababa Light Rail Tram passes through Ethiopia’s largest business district Merakto, dubbed the business nerve of Addis Ababa. The electric powered rail line is 34 km long and was inaugurated in September 2015 with the hope that it would give the city’s residents a clean, fast mode of transportation. Despite the Ethiopian government building a network of roads across Addis Ababa, its roads are jammed with traffic causing misery for commuters and drivers alike. (Mulugeta Ayene/AP Images for C40)

Copenhagen (Adaptation in Action): Copenhagen is threatened by sea level rise and heavy downpours. The Cloudburst Management Plan – Project Implementation is an integrated system of green streets and pocket parks that will function as water retention areas and water basins.

Copenhagen is one of 10 recipients to receive the prestigious C40 Cities Awards 2016 as global recognition for cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. Drains have been constructed in the Gammel Strand suburb to send rain water into the nearby canal. In 2015, the Copenhagen City Council officially approved the city cloudburst management plan, which, over the next 20 years, aims to invest, develop and implement 300 projects. The plan will look to increase the level of flood protection across the entire city, while also taking urban planning projects, maintenance activities and resilience strategies into account. The projects to protect against downpours are tightly interlinked with Copenhagen’s other key plans for sustainable, social and economic development. For the city, climate adaptation is not just a necessary measure to deal with the risk of flooding. It is also an opportunity to create green growth, to increase the number of recreational areas across the city, and to improve the quality of life and increase health. (Jens Dige/AP Images for C40)
In Copenhagen, drains have been constructed in the Gammel Strand suburb to send rain water into the nearby canal. In 2015, the Copenhagen City Council officially approved the city cloudburst management plan, which, over the next 20 years, aims to invest, develop and implement 300 projects. The plan will look to increase the level of flood protection across the entire city, while also taking urban planning projects, maintenance activities and resilience strategies into account. The projects to protect against downpours are tightly interlinked with Copenhagen’s other key plans for sustainable, social and economic development. For the city, climate adaptation is not just a necessary measure to deal with the risk of flooding. It is also an opportunity to create green growth, to increase the number of recreational areas across the city, and to improve the quality of life and increase health. (Jens Dige/AP Images for C40)

Curitiba (Sustainable Communities): Urban Agriculture in Curitiba aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through urban agriculture: directly through carbon sequestration in soil, biological nitrogen fixation by legumes and non-use of chemical nitrogen fertilisers; and indirectly by reducing food and waste transport distances, composting organic waste, reduction of “heat islands” and creating environmental awareness.

Curitiba is one of 10 recipients to receive the prestigious C40 Cities Awards 2016 as global recognition for cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. A young adult with special needs in a vegetable garden adapted for wheelchair users in a school in the outskirts of Curitiba on Nov. 17, 2016 in Brazil. In addition to creating sustainable communities, the project in Curitiba aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through urban agriculture. The programme has increased environmental awareness by engaging children and teenagers on the topic of agriculture. The project gardens are providing public health benefits through increased physical activity (especially for seniors), providing a therapeutic activity for the mentally ill, unemployed and disabled, and promoting increased consumption of vegetables. Improved awareness about food miles and proper waste disposal practices has decreased waste in the city. (Rodolfo Buhrer/AP Images for C40)
A young adult with special needs in a vegetable garden adapted for wheelchair users in a school in the outskirts of Curitiba on Nov. 17, 2016 in Brazil. In addition to creating sustainable communities, the project in Curitiba aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through urban agriculture. The programme has increased environmental awareness by engaging children and teenagers on the topic of agriculture. The project gardens are providing public health benefits through increased physical activity (especially for seniors), providing a therapeutic activity for the mentally ill, unemployed and disabled, and promoting increased consumption of vegetables. Improved awareness about food miles and proper waste disposal practices has decreased waste in the city. (Rodolfo Buhrer/AP Images for C40)

Kolkata (Solid Waste): Kolkata’s climate change risks have been exacerbated by unsanitary disposal and waste dumping. Kolkata Solid Waste Management Improvement Project has achieved 60-80% (depending on site) segregation of waste at its source, with further waste segregation occurring at transfer stations. Forward looking, the project aims to eradicate open dumping and burning of waste and to limit the concentration of methane gas generated in landfill sites.

Kolkata is one of 10 recipients to receive the prestigious C40 Cities Awards 2016 as global recognition for cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. The Kolkata Solid Waste Management Project (KSWMIP) is a trans-municipal project for environmental development through scientific waste management and stakeholder participation. At the compost plant maintained by JICA under KMDA Solid Waste Management Project, a worker uses the compost making machine. (Subrata Biswas/AP Images for C40)
The Kolkata Solid Waste Management Project (KSWMIP) is a trans-municipal project for environmental development through scientific waste management and stakeholder participation. At the compost plant maintained by JICA under KMDA Solid Waste Management Project, a worker uses the compost making machine. (Subrata Biswas/AP Images for C40)

Sydney & Melbourne (Building Energy Efficiency): The CitySwitch Green Office programme aims to overcome the knowledge and resource gap between building owners and tenants by prioritising the reporting of fully auditable achievements, and encourages members to adopt an energy target of between 4-Star and 6-Star on the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS). The program has an overall target avoidance of 50,000 tonnes of new CO2e per year by its signatory businesses.

Sydney and Melbourne jointly are one of 10 recipients to receive the prestigious C40 Cities Awards 2016 as global recognition for cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. A cyclist in Southbank, on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. Sponsored by an association of cities, including Melbourne and Sydney, the CitySwitch Green Office programme has fostered collaboration and leadership among a growing network of business leaders across Australia who are committed to environmental excellence. The programme offers easy-to-access, high-value support for office-based businesses to improve their day-to-day energy and sustainability performance. (Paul Jeffers/AP Images for C40)
A cyclist in Southbank, on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. Sponsored by an association of cities, including Melbourne and Sydney, the CitySwitch Green Office programme has fostered collaboration and leadership among a growing network of business leaders across Australia who are committed to environmental excellence. The programme offers easy-to-access, high-value support for office-based businesses to improve their day-to-day energy and sustainability performance. (Paul Jeffers/AP Images for C40)
Sydney and Melbourne jointly are one of 10 recipients to receive the prestigious C40 Cities Awards 2016 as global recognition for cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. A general scene at the WWF offices, level 1,1 Smail Street, Ultimo on Friday, Nov.18, 2016, in Sydney, Australia. (Rick Stevens/AP Images for C40)
A general scene at the WWF offices, level 1,1 Smail Street, Ultimo on Friday, Nov.18, 2016, in Sydney, Australia. (Rick Stevens/AP Images for C40)

Paris (Adaptation Plans & Assessments): The Paris Adaption Strategy is aimed at tackling climate change-related challenges including heatwaves, urban heat island effect, flooding and droughts. The programme addresses other sustainability issues like air pollution and health related risks, climate refugee challenges and water scarcity. Some actions being implemented by 2020, include: a greening programme to decrease heat-related risks; help for Parisians when it’s hot; and a less vulnerable food supply.

Paris is one of 10 recipients to receive the prestigious C40 Cities Awards 2016 as global recognition for cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. The Paris Adaptation Strategy is a framework document unanimously approved by the Paris City Council in September 2015. With a current project end date of 2020, it aims to adapt Paris to the challenges posed by climate change and future resource scarcity. The programme contains 30 objectives and 35 actions ranging from extending the heatwave response plan to increasing green infrastructure and urban agriculture. Nadine Lahoud and Joel Riandey, members of Veni Verdi association, examine the garden on the rooftop of the Henri Matisse college, in Paris, Monday, Nov. 21, 2016. (Thibault Camus/AP Images for C40)
The Paris Adaptation Strategy is a framework document unanimously approved by the Paris City Council in September 2015. With a current project end date of 2020, it aims to adapt Paris to the challenges posed by climate change and future resource scarcity. The programme contains 30 objectives and 35 actions ranging from extending the heatwave response plan to increasing green infrastructure and urban agriculture. Nadine Lahoud and Joel Riandey, members of Veni Verdi association, examine the garden on the rooftop of the Henri Matisse college, in Paris, Monday, Nov. 21, 2016. (Thibault Camus/AP Images for C40)

Portland (Climate Action Plans & Inventories): The overarching goal of Portland’s 2015 Climate Action Plan (CAP) is to deliver an integrated set of strategies by 2020 to keep Portland on a path to reduce GHG emissions 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. The proportion of citizens travelling primarily by public transport, cycling or walking is expected to rise to 50%, and the number of electric vehicles is set to increase four-fold to 8,000. The CAP aims to reduce energy use in existing buildings by 1.7% annually, resulting in an annual GHG emissions reduction of 280,000 metric tonnes in 2020.

Portland is one of 10 recipients to receive the prestigious C40 Cities Awards 2016 as global recognition for cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. "Sharrows" (bike lane markings with double arrow) connect low-traffic neighborhood greenway streets throughout the city, providing cyclists with safer options for getting around in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (Greg Wahl-Stephens/AP Images for C40)
“Sharrows” (bike lane markings with double arrow) connect low-traffic neighborhood greenway streets throughout the city, providing cyclists with safer options for getting around in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (Greg Wahl-Stephens/AP Images for C40)

Seoul (Social Equity & Climate Change): The Energy Welfare Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme aims to contribute to the city’s targets on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction while simultaneously reducing energy consumption and spending for low-income families. In 2015, Seoul financed energy retrofits for 1,295 households and aims to finance a further 1,050 households in 2016.

Seoul is one of 10 recipients to receive the prestigious C40 Cities Awards 2016 as global recognition for cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. A woman walks in the Haneul Park located 98 meters above sea level in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Water vapor from a smokestack of a Korea District Heating Corp's facility is seen behind. The Haneul Park was a landfill holding 140 million tons of garbage 20 years ago and the city of Seoul began changing the garbage dump into an ecological park in 1999, as part of a project to build the World Cup Park to mark the 2002 World Cup in South Korea. The city of Seoul installed methane gas extraction wells throughout the former landfill. The gases are channeled into wells by use of fan and used to provide heating for public sites including the Seoul World Cup Stadium, households and office buildings nearby. Seoul's Energy Welfare Public-Private Partnership Programme is designed to ease energy poverty exacerbated by climate change and promote energy saving and sharing culture between businesses, civic groups and citizens. (Lee Jae-Won/AP Images for C40)
A woman walks in the Haneul Park located 98 meters above sea level in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Water vapor from a smokestack of a Korea District Heating Corp’s facility is seen behind. The Haneul Park was a landfill holding 140 million tons of garbage 20 years ago and the city of Seoul began changing the garbage dump into an ecological park in 1999, as part of a project to build the World Cup Park to mark the 2002 World Cup in South Korea. The city of Seoul installed methane gas extraction wells throughout the former landfill. The gases are channeled into wells by use of fan and used to provide heating for public sites including the Seoul World Cup Stadium, households and office buildings nearby. Seoul’s Energy Welfare Public-Private Partnership Programme is designed to ease energy poverty exacerbated by climate change and promote energy saving and sharing culture between businesses, civic groups and citizens. (Lee Jae-Won/AP Images for C40)

Shenzhen (Finance & Economic Development): Shenzhen is one of the fastest growing cities in the world with a population of 15 million and an annual GDP growth rate of 10%. Implementing an Emissions Trading System (ETS) scheme carried many challenges, but Shenzhen has recruited 636 enterprises to partake in its ETS scheme. Green low carbon development of the city is now possible thanks to uncoupling GDP potential from GHG emissions.

Shenzhen is one of 10 recipients to receive the prestigious C40 Cities Awards 2016 as global recognition for cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. A public green space in the central business district in Shenzhen, China on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. The City of Shenzhen was the first of seven Chinese pilot cities to launch an emissions trading scheme (ETS), allowing companies to trade carbon emissions and has recruited 636 enterprises to partake. In this first 3-year period, those businesses involved showed a rapid reduction in carbon emission intensity, while maintaining steady economic growth. Green low carbon development of the city is now possible thanks to uncoupling GDP potential from GHG emissions. This has contributed to a marked improvement in the atmospheric quality of the city. (Brent NG/AP Images for C40)
A public green space in the central business district in Shenzhen, China on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. The City of Shenzhen was the first of seven Chinese pilot cities to launch an emissions trading scheme (ETS), allowing companies to trade carbon emissions and has recruited 636 enterprises to partake. In this first 3-year period, those businesses involved showed a rapid reduction in carbon emission intensity, while maintaining steady economic growth. Green low carbon development of the city is now possible thanks to uncoupling GDP potential from GHG emissions. This has contributed to a marked improvement in the atmospheric quality of the city. (Brent NG/AP Images for C40)

Yokohama (Clean Energy): Yokohama Smart City Project (YSCP) strives to more effectively manage energy use and mitigate climate change through energy management systems. The city’s action plan sets the target of an 80% CO2 emissions reduction by 2050. The project is designed to engage citizens and stakeholders as a key factor of successful implementation.

Yokohama is one of 10 recipients to receive the prestigious C40 Cities Awards 2016 as global recognition for cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. A woman walks past a monitor displaying the status of the energy management system (BEMS) inside a commercial building in Yokohama, Japan, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. In 2010, the city of Yokohama formulated the Yokohama Smart City Project (YSCP) as a five-year pilot in three districts. It has since been deployed to the entire city of 3.7 million people. The YSCP applies smart grids for the energy management of households, buildings and local communities; introduces large-scale renewable energy; and promotes green transportation systems. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/AP Images for C40)
A woman walks past a monitor displaying the status of the energy management system (BEMS) inside a commercial building in Yokohama, Japan, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. In 2010, the city of Yokohama formulated the Yokohama Smart City Project (YSCP) as a five-year pilot in three districts. It has since been deployed to the entire city of 3.7 million people. The YSCP applies smart grids for the energy management of households, buildings and local communities; introduces large-scale renewable energy; and promotes green transportation systems. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/AP Images for C40)

Earlier in the day during the C40 Mayors Summit, C40 unveiled a report, Deadline 2020: How cities will get the job done, outlining a vision to reduce emissions by 2020 and help meet the Paris Agreement targets.

For more information on the Awards and the winning projects, visit: http://www.c40.org/awards.

For the most up-to-date details about the 2016 C40 Mayors Summit, please refer to the website:http://www.mayorssummit2016.c40.org/.

Follow the C40 Cities Awards on social media with #C40Awards and the C40 Mayors Summit with the hashtag #Cities4Climate.

About the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group: The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, now in its 11th year, connects more than 85 of the world’s greatest cities, representing 650+ million people and one quarter of the global economy. Created and led by cities, C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens. The current chair of the C40 is Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes; Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo is Chair-elect; and three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. C40’s work is made possible by our three strategic funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and Realdania. To learn more about the work of C40 and our cities, please visit www.c40.org, follow us on Twitter @c40cities or Instagram @c40cities and like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/C40Cities.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies: Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars. For more information, please visit  bloomberg.org  or follow us on FacebookInstagramSnapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

About BYD: Since its inception in 1995 in Shenzhen, China, BYD Company Ltd. quickly grew into a green-tech giant and relentless advocate of sustainable development, as well as a pioneer in successfully expanding its New Energy solutions globally. Specializing in battery technologies, its sustainability mission to create a Zero Emission Energy Ecosystem – comprising affordable solar power generation, reliable energy storage and cutting-edge electrified transportation – has made the company an industry leader in the energy and technology sectors. BYD and its shareholders – among them notable American investor Warren Buffett – see sustainable development through technological advancement in products and solutions as the only way into the future. In 2016, the company was granted the Large Corporation Award of the Zayed Future Energy Prize for its solid contribution to sustainable development in the energy sector. For more information, please visit us at www.byd.com or www.facebook.com/bydcompany or http://www.c40.org/custom_pages/c40-cities-awards-partners.

About the C40 Cities Awards Jury Panel:

  • David Miller – Chair of the Jury Panel, President & CEO, WWF Canada; Former Mayor of Toronto; Former C40 Chair
  • Dr. Fauzi Bowo – Former Governor of Jakarta; Indonesian Ambassador to Germany
  • Amanda Eichel – Special Advisor, Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Nicky Gavron AM – Former Deputy-Mayor of London;
London Assembly Member
  • Stella Li – Senior Vice-President, BYD Company Limited
  • Mr. Kgosiento Ramokgopa – Former Mayor of Tshwane
  • Rodrigo Rosa – Special Advisor to the C40 Chair; Executive Representative of the City of Rio de Janeiro in the C40 Climate Leadership Group
  • Dr. Leena Srivastava – Vice-Chancellor, TERI University
  • Jie Tang – Former Vice-Mayor of Shenzhen