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'Green' Cordoba wins global praise

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'Green' Cordoba wins global praise
Photo of Cordoba: Shutterstock
10:37 CET+01:00
Cordoba, in Andalucia, southern Spain, might already be world-famous for its medieval former mosque, but now its efforts to go green are also gaining global attention.

Cordoba has made it through to the final round of the World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Earth Hour City Challenge, which rewards the best initiatives against climate change around the world.

The Earth Hour City Challenge is a new, year-long, initiative from the WWF that ties in with its annual Earth Hour, when cities around the world are encouraged to switch off their lights to raise awareness about climate change.

This year’s winner will take over from last year’s winner, Cape Town, South Africa, to be named the Earth Hour Capital for 2015.

In the first time Spain has taken part in the annual challenge, Cordoba, in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, launched the initiative Córdoba LUZe, which, according to its website, aims to "convert the city of Cordoba into an energy efficiency pioneer".

The project includes improving efficiency in buildings, city squares, traffic lights and throughout famous tourist spots in the Andalusian city.

Cordoba has also pioneered the use of electric buses and bicycle lanes, as well as installing solar panels on public buildings.

With more than 70 percent of the world´s CO2 emissions generated by residents of cities, the Earth Hour City Challenge encourages cities around the world to submit “inspiring and credible” urban development plans that dramatically increase the city´s use of renewable energy.

"The Earth Hour City Challenge initiative has been created to celebrate cities that are taking amazing steps forward in creating a greener, cleaner and more sustainable city to live in, while inspiring other cities to do the same," the WWF explains on its website.

In 2015, 163 cities in 17 countries took part in the challenge. Those have now been whittled down to 44 finalists, among them Cordoba and A Coruña, in Spain.

Judges will pick one sustainability leader per country and an overall global Earth Hour Capital will be selected. The leading cities will be presented on April 9th in Seoul, South Korea.

The Earth Hour City Finalists for 2015 are:

Brazil: Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo
Canada: Edmonton, North Vancouver, Vancouver
Colombia: Bucaramanga, Monteria, Santiago de Cali
Finland: Espoo, Lahti, Tampere
France: Besançon, Nantes, Paris
India: Pune, Rajkot, Thane
Indonesia: Balikpapan, Jakarta, Semarang
Malaysia: Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam
Mexico: Puebla, Hermosillo, Toluca
Singapore: Singapore
South Africa: Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane
South Korea: Changwon, Seoul, Wonju
Spain: A Coruña, Cordoba
Sweden:  Eskilstuna, Gothenburg, Västerås
Thailand: Hatyai, Khon Kaen, Mapammarit
United States: Cleveland, Evanston, Seattle

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