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Taipei receives C40 award for clean air initiative

Taipei City Government won the Citizen’s Choice Award for its Clean Air—It’s Your Move initiative at the C40 and Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards ceremony Sept. 23. in New York.

“It is a supreme honor to be recognized globally for tireless devotion to sustainable urban environments,” Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin said. “The award is also testament to the efforts of all city residents in maintaining superior air quality.”

Hau accepted the award from Eduardo Paes, chairman of C40 and mayor of Rio de Janeiro. Former Norwegian Prime Minister Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, a pioneer of sustainable development and winner of the inaugural Tang Prize, later went onstage to congratulate Hau and the city on the achievement.

Beating out 31 projects from 26 cities worldwide, Taipei clinched the honor through majority support in a global online poll. The metropolis was nominated alongside London and Mexico City.

Hau said the local government has worked hard to improve Taipei’s air quality. “Some of our undertakings include a green transportation network comprising low-emission buses, an extensive mass rapid transit system and YouBike service.

“The public bike rental system has been instrumental in reducing air pollution, with numbers of days marked by poor air quality down from 68 in 2004 to just six in 2013.”

According to YouBike operator Giant Taiwan Co. Ltd., the system boasts the world’s No. 1 usage rate, surpassing similar services in Barcelona, London, New York and Paris.

The awards were created in 2013 by Siemens and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of metropolises worldwide committed to addressing climate risks and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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