Kochi has been shortlisted for the International Earth Hour Capital title in the international Earth Hour City Challenge organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The Earth Hour City Challenge — an offshoot of the Earth Hour observed in hundreds of cities worldwide, including Kochi — aims to promote the initiatives of city administrations in the use of renewable energy as a means to reduce global warming.

A WWF-India official told The Hindu that Kochi was among 17 cities shortlisted from among 66 in six countries. The final selection will be made in March by an international jury. Apart from the International Earth Hour Capital, one city from each of the six countries will be selected as the National Earth Hour Capital. The global initiative was launched last year by the WWF “to mobilise action and support from cities in the global transition towards a climate-friendly future”.

Two other cities from India, New Delhi and Coimbatore, have made it to the shortlist. India is the only developing country whose cities have participated in the challenge. Bhubaneswar, Jaipur and Hyderabad were also part of the challenge.

Kochi, New Delhi and Coimbatore were selected after an evaluation by the WWF and Accenture, an international management consultancy agency. They were judged on their low-carbon development plans and implementation of renewable energy solutions.

Solar power at airport

WWF-India said Kochi was selected, among other things, for its ‘waste-to-energy project where unsorted waste is gasified using state-of-the-art equipment to generate power without creating harmful emission’. It pointed out that the Nedumbassery airport was the first to use solar power to generate electricity for its day-to-day operations.

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