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Hue is Vietnam's first city to win WWF green title
By Bui Ngoc Long - Thanh Nien News -
 Hue is the first Vietnamese city competing for the National Earth Hour Capital title. Photo: Bui Ngoc Huy Binh
 Hue from central Vietnam has been named among 18 National Earth Hour Capitals worldwide, a title given by the conservation group WWF to honor sustainable urban development.
The Earth Hour City Challenge 2016 by WWF, fully known as the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, is a competition that invited cities to do more than turning off lights during Earth Hour.
Cities have to report data, commitments and actions for a climate-friendly future, in terms of greenhouse gas reductions and measures for food, water and energy security. An international jury would review the data for solutions that will make a city greener and cleaner.
The fifth edition attracted 125 participants and Vietnam has one candidate from Hue, also its first ever.
WWF representatives granted the certificate to Hue officials on Tuesday.
Hue, whose tourism plays an important part in the economy, is praised for encouraging hotels and restaurants to use solar energy for water heating, and visitors to use non-motorized vehicles, besides initiatives to save water and recycle waste.
The town has committed to reduce its greenhouse gases by 20 percent in 2020, compared to 2011.
Hue is among six Southeast Asian winners of the title. The others are Chiangrai of Thailand, Jakarta of Indonesia, Petaling Jaya of Malaysia, Santa Rosa of the Philippines and Singapore.
Five other winners are from America, four from Europe and three from India, China and South Africa.
Paris took home the Global Earth Hour Capital title as its plans have been considered a role model for climate action for cities around the world.
Some of the cities named may not look very sustainable yet, but according to WWF, the competition is not strictly about naming green cities but about highlighting cities that are taking strong sustainability actions. "These actions need to be highlighted and celebrated so that they can inspire other cities with similar challenges to replicate them," it said.