3 Philippine Cities Advance as Finalists in WWF's One Planet City Challenge

April, 04 2024

The cities of Baguio, Makati, and Tagum have been selected as national finalists for WWF's One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) 2023-2024. This result was based on the climate data reported by the participating cities in the CDP-ICLEI Track, evaluated, and scored using the OPCC Assessment Framework 2023. With over 350 cities from 50 countries participating in this cycle, 15 were Philippines Cities.

Baguio City Hall (Photo by Imee Bellen), Makati City Hall (Photo by the the LGU), and Tagum City Hall (Photo by the LGU)


In just over ten years, nearly 900 cities have participated in the OPCC, and it continues to grow.  This friendly biennial global competition aims to help cities deliver the commitments in the Paris Agreement to limit the rise in global temperature to below 1.5°C. It also commends cities that are actively advancing their efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts, maintaining a well-rounded approach aligned with their objectives.

Burnham Park, a greenspace in Baguio City (Photo: WWF-Philippines/Julia Basangan)

As cities contribute over 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and consume more than 75% of their natural resources, their efforts in planning, implementing, and monitoring climate action are crucial for transitioning to a low-carbon and sustainable future.

Imee Bellen, One Planet Cities Project Manager for WWF-Philippines, expresses hope that more cities will rise to the challenge of addressing the climate crisis while emphasizing the importance of stakeholder engagement. "We applaud the commitment of these Philippine cities that participated in this latest run of the OPCC. It is also important to highlight that the collective climate action of cities and their citizens plays a significant role in both mitigating and adapting to climate change."

The view from Makati City Hall's 21st floor | PinoyJourn: Stories behind the Stories

Makati City Skyline (Photo by the LGU)

All OPCC participating cities received a “Strategic Feedback Report” based on the climate data reported by the cities,  which contained an assessment of their climate journey. This report highlights both the city's successes in the climate arena and other areas where improvement is needed. Importantly, it offers a list of recommended effective mitigation and adaptation actions to help the city better address the impacts of global warming.

Atty. Angela Ibay, Head of the Climate and Energy Programme at WWF-Philippines, underscores the urgency of the situation in light of the critical findings of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. She states, "We are still off-track in tackling climate change, and it is imperative that we take action now. Let us leverage innovative and feasible measures at our disposal to strive towards the 1.5°C global warming target.

Tagum & Mati City Tour Package #6 (Banana Beach, Dahican Beach) | AJ3s Transport
Tagum City Energy Park, a greenspace in Tagum City  (Photo by the LGU)

The three Philippine finalists, along with those finalists from other countries, are also qualified to participate in the OPCC’s related activity called We Love Cities (WLC). This public engagement campaign aims to bridge and foster better communication between city officials and the citizens so that they can work together on climate and sustainability issues.

All OPCC finalists will be evaluated by an international jury composed of leading experts within the field of urban sustainability from around the globe. National and global winners  will be announced publicly by September-October 2024

For more information and updates about One Planet City Challenge, visit http://panda.org/opcc.

3 Philippine Cities Advance as Finalists in WWF's One Planet City Challenge
© WWF-Philippines