|Energy saving lights used to decorate the Rồng (Dragon) bridge in Đà Nẵng. The central city has been named national green city by the World Wide Fund for Nature’s One Planet City Challenge programme. — VNS Photo Lê Lâm
ĐÀ NẴNG — Đà Nẵng City has been given the title of National Green City 2017-18 by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)’s One Planet City Challenge programme, making it onto a list of 21 cities from around the world.
Vice chairman of the city’s people’s committee, Nguyễn Ngọc Tuấn, said the award was a tribute to the city’s endeavours over past decades to commit to sustainable development.
Đà Nẵng, along with other cities in Việt Nam including Huế, Hội An and Đông Hà, entered the One Planet City Challenge programme in 2017 to show how cities can become hubs for creativity, ambition and innovation in dealing with climate change.
The four cites qualified out of 132 metropolises from 23 countries, but Đà Nẵng was finally selected for the award.
The city had submitted a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent from 2016, along with plans for solar power development, biofuel use, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes and wastewater treatment.
|Public buses have been developed as environmentally friendly ways of getting around in Đà Nẵng. They help curb traffic congestion and reduce personal vehicle use. — VNS Photo Công Thành
According to a WWF statement, cities generate 70 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions, and the WWF’s One Planet City Challenge was a biennial competition that recognised and rewarded cities for developing infrastructure, housing, transport and mobility solutions to power the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.
It said 50 per cent of the global population lived in urban areas, and cities would be home to about 6 billion people by 2050.
Đà Nẵng City is giving top priority to high-tech and clean technology investment projects to become a green city by 2025.
In 2012, Đà Nẵng City was selected for an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-Operation project along with 20 low-carbon model cities with energy-efficient technologies, smart grids and renewable power generation.
The city had cut 12,000 tonnes of carbon emissions through a pilot project of low-carbon models including battery-powered bicycles, renewable energy, a metro system and BRT.
Đà Nẵng City plans to build its first solar farm covering 6.7ha on the now-closed Khánh Sơn Landfill at a cost of $5 million, supplying 7.7 million kWh per year to the city’s power grid, and reducing nearly 5,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.
The city has great renewable energy potential, with a 90km coastline, 2,000 hours of sunlight per year and an average wind speed of 3m per second.
According to the city’s Industry and Trade Department, around 30 per cent of the city’s population were using solar power for water heaters, while around 20 five-star hotels and resorts were using solar power water heating systems.
|Solar panels at a park in the city. Renewable energy system has been developed at public sites in Đà Nẵng. — Photo courtesy Minh Vũ
The European Commission (EC) has also agreed to fund the city $415,000 to install solar equipment at health centres and schools, as well as research into solar technology capacity and management.
Đà Nẵng City has also been operating 20 battery-powered cars to serve tourists on the Sơn Trà Peninsula since 2012.
Japanese Mitsubishi plans to co-operate with Đà Nẵng City in the production of battery-powered cars in the near future.
In 2016, the WWF recognised Huế City as Việt Nam’s National Earth Hour Capital 2016 as part of the highly selective global Earth Hour City Challenge.
The One Planet City Challenge was designed by the WWF to mobilise action and support from cities in global climate efforts, including the goals now set forth by the Paris Agreement. About 400 cities in the world have joined the programme since 2011. — VNS