Mayor Gregor Robertson, Sir Richard Branson, and the Carbon War Room, a non- profit organization that harnesses the power of entrepreneurs to implement market-driven solutions to climate change, announced today the launch of the Green Capital – Global Challenge.
Building on a partnership with the City of Vancouver, the Green Capital – Global Challenge will mobilize capital and resources into city-led energy efficiency initiatives leading to a review of results in London during the summer of 2012.
“Over the next two years, the Green Capital – Global Challenge will work to get private sector money quickly flowing into energy efficiency projects in the most innovative cities,” said Sir Richard Branson, Co-Founder of the Carbon War Room. “This is a truly ground-breaking initiative and we are excited about the road ahead.”
Looking forward, the Green Capital – Global Challenge will accelerate the implementation of scalable, replicable energy efficiency and generation technology solutions by employing innovative financing mechanisms.
In order to join the Green Capital – Global Challenge, cities will be completing a five-step plan that involves:
- Committing to the challenge with funding targets;
- Forming a dedicated team within their government focused on the challenge;
- Assembling a network of administrative and financing partners capable of bringing these plans forward;
- Working within their local governments to put the enabling policies in place; and
- Launching the financing program to begin moving their visions forward.
To a select group of pioneering cities, the Carbon War Room will provide convening power, international networking and program management to ensure deals get across the finish line.
“I am excited that Vancouver is the launching pad for this global initiative to reduce carbon emissions,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Our goal is to become the greenest city in the world by 2020, and we will be working hard as a city to participate in the Challenge.”
“The true measure of success will be the amount of capital invested in energy efficiency financing that results in reduced carbon dioxide emissions,” said José Maria Figueres, Co-Founder of the Carbon War Room and former President of Costa Rica. “On a global scale, this initiative can set the stage for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by over five billion tons annually within ten years.”
The launch of the Green Capital – Global Challenge came at the end of a kick-off meeting attended by more than 100 business leaders, financiers, mayors and sustainability directors. Participants came from more than 20 cities on four continents.