A view of Hoi An ancient town.(Photo: VNA)

Chosen from out of 132 cities in 23 countries, these 40 have convinced the jury by offering strong pledges and programs to reduce CO2 emissions, especially from transport, the key topic in this competition.

As cities and urban populations expand across the globe, the problems in cities also tend to multiply, but fortunately solutions exist with the potential to meet the demands of urban lifestyles without exhausting the planet’s ecological capacity.

So WWF created the One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) to highlight these solutions and recognize and reward cities putting them to use.

The cities seek to provide sustainable housing, transportation and energy for their residents while simultaneously engaging their citizens and acting as inspirational role models for other cities around the globe.

Since the inception of the Challenge in 2011, WWF has engaged over 400 cities across five continents.

In the 2017-18 round, 132 cities in 23 countries participated in the challenge, which has a focus on sustainable transport and mobility.

“It is delightful to see Da Nang, Hoi An and Dong Ha take part for the first time and surpass many other cities around the world to enter the final round,” Pham Cam Nhung, WWF coordinator for the Low CO2 and Energy Program, said.

“Through pledges and action plans, these three cities have convinced the jury and shown to the world that Vietnam actively builds sustainable cities, tries to improve the quality of life and reduces bad impacts on the environment.

This is the second time Vietnamese cities are taking part in the program after Hue did so in 2016.

Hue submitted a target of decreasing by 2020 greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 2011 levels, and six action plans focused on urban greening, green tourism development, effective disposal of trash and wastewater, intelligent public lighting, renewable energy, and the use of environmentally friendly construction materials.

Cities are currently being assessed, and up to three finalist cities per country will be invited to participate in the related We Love Cities campaign to engage their citizens in expressing support for their cities and sharing ideas for improvement.

An international expert jury will review all finalist cities, selecting both national winners and a global winner, who will be announced in June/July 2018 and given the award at a global ceremony./.