WASHINGTON, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Carbon War Room, a non-profit organization that harnesses the power of entrepreneurs to implement market-driven solutions to climate change, today announced the first wave of cities selected to participate in the Green Capital Global Challenge.
Participant cities were selected from across the United States, Canada and Europe, after the Carbon War Room received an overwhelming number of applications from cities around the world. They include: Atlanta, Babylon (New York), Burlington (Vermont), Charleston (South Carolina), Chicago, Gainesville (Florida), New York City, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco, Washington D.C., Toronto, Vancouver, London, Birmingham (England), and Copenhagen.
"In this time of uncertainty around the ability and resolve of governments to lead the planet to low-carbon prosperity, it is up to businesses and cities to step up and assume responsibility," said Sir Richard Branson, Co-Founder of the Carbon War Room. "Mayors are the entrepreneurs of the civic world who realize their pivotal role in the fight against climate change."
Many participating mayors around the world echoed Sir Branson's sentiments, citing this as a tremendous opportunity for their cities to engage in a healthy competition that will be a key step in moving many of their pioneering initiatives forward – ranging from green building initiatives and renewable energy programs to achieving full carbon neutrality. Moreover, all mayors agreed that this is an initiative that will reduce energy costs, create green jobs that will improve their economic competitiveness, and, most importantly, improve the quality of life of their citizens.
"These cities are committed to taking immediate action to be a part of a movement that will create jobs, help local economies thrive, and green cities around the world," said Jigar Shah, Chief Executive Officer of the Carbon War Room. "These cities, along with many others that applied for the first wave, have pioneering sustainability visions, but they cannot do it on their own. The Carbon War Room is committed to working with them to create the mechanisms that will allow cities and the private sector to work together to make these visions a reality."
"We were inspired by the quality and quantity of nominations in the selection process," said Peter Boyd, Director of Operations of the Carbon War Room. "We will be working hard alongside the first wave of cities to help connect them with the private capital they need to improve energy efficiency of their buildings, and create jobs in their cities."
Launched by the Carbon War Room during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the 'Green Capital – Global Challenge' is a two year program that seeks to mobilize capital and resources into city-led energy efficiency initiatives that will culminate in a review of results achieved in London, during the summer of 2012.
By the end of this year, the Green Capital – Global Challenge will look to engage with a second wave of cities to further promote energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. The next round of nominations for cities looking to join in the Challenge will close 15th September 2010.
Today's announcement follows closely behind the 'Creating Climate Wealth' summit hosted by the Carbon War Room last week in Washington, D.C. Working in close concert with entrepreneurs and "intrapreneurs" from the government, nonprofit, and corporate communities, the Summit was designed to identify the policies, market frameworks, and programs that will clear the barriers to wealth creation in the new low carbon economy. Though the Green Capital Global Challenge was already well under way, responding to the challenges and opportunities of improving energy efficiency in the built environment was one of the many topics explored by attendees.
About the Carbon War Room
The Carbon War Room harnesses the power of entrepreneurs to implement market-driven solutions to climate change. The War Room's unique approach focuses on bringing together successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, policy experts, researchers, and thought leaders to focus on market-driven solutions. For more information, visit www.carbonwarroom.com.
SOURCE The Carbon War Room