The City of Evanston is pleased to announce that it has been selected to represent the United States as the 2015 Earth Hour City Capital in World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Earth Hour City Challenge. The competition’s eleven-member jury composed of renowned leaders in urban sustainability noted Evanston’s impressive commitment and demonstrable progress toward fighting climate change.

WWF acknowledges that cities of all sizes can make important contributions to fighting climate change and Evanston’s success makes for a wonderful role model.

“We are extremely proud to be appointed the 2015 U.S. Earth Hour City Capital. It was an honor to compete alongside Cleveland and Seattle, large cities known for their sustainability efforts. I am looking forward to meeting with leaders from City Capitals across the globe to learn more about their green efforts and how Evanston can continue to improve our sustainable efforts,” said Evanston Mayor Elizabeth B. Tisdahl.

As a part of the challenge’s renewable energy theme, Evanston was noted as a leader for implementing a green energy program to provide residents and small businesses with 100 percent green energy, in addition to providing green energy to its City-owned buildings, and installing 25 kilowatt solar panels on the roof of the Evanston Water Treatment Facility.

On Saturday, March 28, as the U.S. Earth Hour City Capital, Evanston will join other City Capitals across the world in the celebration of Earth Hour. Evanston residents, businesses and organizations are invited to take the pledge to switch off their lights for an hour starting at 8:30 p.m. to show their commitment to preserving our planet. The symbolic gesture is more than just a celebration of Earth, it signifies a global call to action to fight climate change.

Community members committing to the pledge are encouraged to share their stance on social media by posting the City’s “I Pledge” button on Twitter and Instagram using #WeLoveEvanston leading up to the lights-out event. To downloaded the button, please visit cityofevanston.org/sustainability.

In January, Evanston was chosen as a challenge finalist along with Seattle and Cleveland by WWF and global management consultancy firm Accenture for transitioning their communities toward a climate-friendly future. Now, Evanston follows in the footsteps of neighboring Chicago, the 2014 U.S. Earth Hour City Capital.

“As last year’s Earth Hour Capital, Chicago was honored to lead the nation in this important moment of environmental awareness. We are especially proud that this year’s Capital remains in the Prairie State and congratulate Mayor Tisdahl and Evanston for carrying the torch for climate leadership in 2015,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. 

The winner of the global Earth Hour City Challenge will be announced at the ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability World Congress conference in Seoul, South Korea on Thursday, April 9.

For more information about the Earth Hour City Challenge, visit EarthHour.org or call Sustainability Manager Catherine Hurley at 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents in Evanston can simply dial 3-1-1.