Climate Change and Cities

Over half the world’s population now live in cities, and account for 78 per cent energy consumption and generate over 70% of global CO2 emissions, making them the major contributors to climate change. The dense concentration of people, business, infrastructure, and economic resources in cities make them uniquely vulnerable to the growing risks of climate change. However, this same density also enables the cities to offer an immense opportunity to create better places to live while contributing to a healthier planet in the process.

The inclusion of cities at the Lima Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) at COP21 in Paris and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has demonstrated the recognition of cities as global solution hotspots with the capability to contribute proactively to each country’s climate actions. Cities can play a large role in countering the challenges of climate change by integrating low carbon actions and sustainable energy use into local development goals, and simultaneously strive towards climate resilient growth and planning.

WWF-India engages with the cities by providing increased support and capacity building in scaling up their climate actions by addressing the barriers for the integration of a climate focus into the cities’ policies, action plans and urban planning. Under this initiative, WWF-India undertakes multi-stakeholder consultations, workshops, site visits and public campaigns to bring together relevant stakeholders at the city level to sensitize them to climate change issues, and to initiate a better understanding about the need for integration of climate resilience strategies, low carbon development, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and overall environmental sustainability in urban development and planning. Read more about the initiatives...

One Planet City Challenge

The One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) is the focus of WWF’s work with cities. It aims to recognize cities that are leading the transition towards a climate-resilient, one planet future, as well as stimulate the development and dissemination of best practices for low carbon development in the cities.

Launched in 2011 as the Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC), OPCC is a biennial, global challenge for cities to present ambitious, holistic, inspiring plans for low carbon development in different sectors including energy, transport, housing, and waste.

Including India, OPCC runs in 23 countries covering 411 cities. India became part of this global platform in 2012 and was the first developing country to join this initiative. Over the years, WWF-India has engaged with 26 cities across 16 states for this challenge, out of which, Delhi, Coimbatore, Thane, and Rajkot have been the National Winners in the earlier editions.


What does the challenge involve?

  • The One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) celebrates national and global frontrunners in climate action.
  • We raise the global profile of participating cities and build awareness and support for success at COP26 and future climate events.
  • OPCC participants have reported a total emissions reduction potential of 3.9Gt GHG (by 2050) using CDP-ICLEI’s globally recognized reporting system.
  • The OPCC process creates transformational leadership by helping cities acquire needed skills and strategies to achieve their ambitious goals.

We Love Cities Campaign

In each edition of the One Planet City Challenge, the participating cities are assessed, and up to 3 finalist cities per country participate in the “We Love Cities” campaign.

The We Love Cities campaign is a global digital campaign to celebrate the most ‘loveable’ sustainable cities, which aims to inspire and engage citizens and raise awareness about sustainable cities issues. It is a public-driven campaign that runs across social media platforms- Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, to engage the citizens in expressing support for their cities, as well as sharing ideas for improvement.

Citizens are invited to vote for their favourite cities and share what they love about them through comments, photos and videos, using the respective city’s hashtag #welovecityname. The city with the most interactions receives the “Most Loved City” Award.

Visit the campaign page to know more about the most loved cities here:

OPCC 2019-2020

The eight participating cities this year included Gangtok, Guwahati, Indore, Kochi, Nagpur, Panaji, Pune, and Rajkot.

Kochi, Nagpur, and Rajkot emerged as finalists from India among over 50 finalists globally. Rajkot was selected as the National Winner from India for the third consecutive time.

Donate to WWF

Your support will help us build a future where humans live in harmony with nature.