Earth Hour is an annual international event created by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), held on the last Saturday of March, that asks households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Based on an idea successfully executed in Thailand in 2005, it was pioneered by WWF Australia and the Sydney Morning Hearld in 2007 and achieved worldwide participation in 2008.
Earth Hour will next take place on Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm, local time.
FOR one hour this Saturday night, at 8:30 o’clock, businesses, homes and even national landmarks in the Philippines will join more than 377 great cities of the world across 74 countries in turning off their lights as a reminder of the urgent need to curb our energy consumption and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to save the earth, so far the only known inhabited and habitable body in the universe.
Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes said Philippine participation in Earth Hour this year is a simple powerful message about the need for action on global warming. “Turning off the lights for an hour sends a very powerful message to the world leaders that people want policies and regulations put in place that can achieve meaningful emission reduction to help fight climate change.”
Reyes said that last year, the country ranked ninth in the world in terms of number of people that responded to the Earth Hour calls over the Internet.
The “lights out” initiative by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which began in Sydney in 2007 as a one-city environmental campaign, has evolved into a grassroots action that has captured the attention of
the citizens of the world. In 2008, 371 cities across 35 countries turned their lights out in a united call for action on climate change.
“It promises to be the largest demonstration of public concern about climate change ever attempted. People will be telling their representatives to seal a deal in Copenhagen, a deal at the climate-change talks that will protect people and the planet,” he added.
Ban said the deal that emerges from Copenhagen must be ambitious, fair and effective, and based on sound science. “We are on a dangerous path. Our planet is warming. We must change our ways. We need green growth that benefits all communities. We need sustainable energy for a more climate-friendly, prosperous world. This is the path of the future. We must walk it together.”
Earth Hour occurs the day before the first round of crucial United Nations negotiations of 2009 on the new climate-change agreement takes place in Bonn, Germany.
Aside from Manila and other cities in the the Philippines, the list of cities confirming their participation in Earth Hour 2009 are London, Beijing, Rome, Moscow, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, Athens, Buenos Aires, Toronto, Sydney, Mexico City, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Las Vegas, Brussels, Cape Town, Helsinki, among others.
Earth Hour will also see the lights go out on some of the most recognized landmarks on the planet, including Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Table Mountain in Cape Town, Merlion in Singapore, Sydney Opera House, CN Tower in Toronto, Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, and the world’s tallest constructed building, Taipei 101.
Courtesy: Business Mirror