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The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) today called on South Africans to pledge their support for Earth Hour 2011 and to go beyond the hour.
Earth Hour is the largest mass participation environmental event in the world. Every year WWF encourages people all over the world to turn off their lights for one hour in a symbolic gesture to pledge their commitment to combating climate change. This year Earth Hour takes place from 8.30 – 9.30pm on Saturday 26 March.
Beyond the Hour marks the start of a new phase for the Earth Hour movement. In 2010 hundreds of millions of people across the world took part in Earth Hour, but switching off their lights was only the beginning. This year Earth Hour asks people to commit to an action, big or small, that they will sustain for the future of our planet.
Jim Leape, Director General of WWF, said: “The challenges that face our planet are immense, but never underestimate the possibility for change when we face these challenges with true common purpose. Hundreds of millions of people around the globe have given us a glimpse of what is possible. It is now time to go beyond the hour and show what can be done - by the people for the planet."
An online platform that captures and allows individuals, organisations, businesses and governments to share their actions, will act as the tool to showcase and inspire commitments to protect the one thing we all have in common – the planet.
“This year is especially important for South Africa as we will host the crucial COP17 climate change conference in Durban in December and will once again be in the global spotlight,” explains Zubair Sayed, Executive Manager of Communication and Marketing at WWF South Africa.
This annual conference is where world leaders meet to assess progress in dealing with climate change and negotiate obligations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“The significance is great as South Africa will play host to another opportunity where world leaders can act to prevent runaway climate change.”
“WWF encourages everyone in South Africa to take a stand against climate change as it affects all of us, our country and our planet. This year, we are calling on everyone in South Africa to ‘go beyond the hour’ and commit to environmentally sustainable action on an on-going basis,” says Sayed.
South Africans can sign up, share their actions and learn more at www.earthhour.org.za
Last year Earth Hour reached more than a billion people with hundreds of millions participating in thousands of cities throughout the world. Between one and four million South Africans participated with many iconic buildings and landmarks switching off their lights.
About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a global initiative in partnership with WWF. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn off their lights for one hour on Saturday March 26, 2011 at 8:30 PM to show their support for environmentally sustainable action. The event began in Sydney in 2007, when 2 million people switched off their lights. By 2010, Earth Hour had created history as the largest voluntary action ever witnessed with participation across 128 countries and every continent, including the world’s most recognized man-made marvels and natural wonders in a landmark environmental action. For more information visit www.earthhour.org.za