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Shah Alam, PJ nominated as finalists in Earth Hour City Challenge

Two cities in Malaysia have been selected to be among the forty-four finalists from countries around the world for this year’s Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC).

Both Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam have made it in the list, competing with cities from 15 countries such as Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Thailand.

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia in a statement said EHCC worked to mobilise action and support from cities in the global transition towards a sustainable future powered by renewable energy.

“WWF is convinced that these cities can act as a source of inspiration for countries as they refine their positions for the climate negotiations set to take place in Paris in December,” it said.

According to the statement, tax rebates for green measures conducted in residential properties, the provision of public park and ride facilities and the introduction of electric charging for hybrid vehicles are some of the key steps that Petaling Jaya have made towards sustaniable development.

“Shah Alam’s environmental friendly measures are the recycling of cooking oil as low grade fuel and tree planting which have marked the city as Malaysia’s most sustainable city at national level in 2013,” it said.

The statement said an expert jury would now review the actions and commitments reported by these cities, and identify one sustainability leader per country for the National Earth Hour Capital Award.

According to the WWF Malaysia director and chief executive officer, Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma, cities were becoming more creative in finding ways to tackle climate change and the EHCC had inspired more cities to set aspiring climate targets and report against these targets.

“These efforts are important and timely as the recent announcement made by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA indicating that 2014 was the warmest year on record globally,” he said.

EHCC has marked its third year this year and the award will be presented at the National Earth Hour Capital Awards in Seoul, South Korea, on April 9.

In 2013, Vancouver, Canada was named the first ever Global Earth Hour Capital, while Cape Town, South Africa achieved the honour last year.

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