Climate change top of mind for Earth Hour 2015
In the next few weeks, WWF South Africa is running a campaign ahead of Earth Hour on 28 March 2015 to highlight the impacts of climate change on ordinary people’s lives – especially with respect to their food, energy and water security.
Earth Hour, which was launched by WWF in 2007, is observed annually on the last Saturday of March each year between 8.30pm and 9.30pm local time in over 160 countries and over 7000 cities by hundreds of millions of people. Typically, people and city managers switch off their lights for the hour in a symbolic call to global leaders to make smart decisions about dealing with climate change.
The 2015 Earth Hour campaign calls on South Africans, to use the power of individual voices to join the international movement to stem the tide of climate change (see website below for details).
Morné du Plessis, CEO of WWF-SA, says: “On the night of 28 March from 8.30 to 9.30pm during Earth Hour, many South Africans will be marking the symbolic hour of darkness to highlight issues around the climate crisis – and we will be supporting them.
“This is a significant year as world leaders gather in Paris in December for COP 21 to make global commitments towards reducing our reliance on fossil fuel. The Paris meeting pre-empts the end of the Kyoto Protocol, which is due to expire in 2020, and will introduce the beginnings of a new international protocol that will embrace, for the first time, all nations.”
Several South African local authorities have also signed up to take part in the Earth Hour City Challenge which saw Cape Town emerge a global winner in 2014 for its environmental efforts to reduce its energy footprint.
the effects of climate change were graphically illustrated last week when Cape Town experienced the hottest day in recorded history over the past 100 years (according to SA Weather) on 3 March. The heatwave also exacerbated a raging fire in the Table Mountain National Park, the effects of which have yet to be quantified.
South Africa is already experiencing higher rainfall patterns in some parts of the country, and over 2° C increase in average annual temperature in other parts, all of which has a direct impact on agriculture and food production.
For all these reasons, South Africans are being asked to encourage their local and global leaders to make decisive decisions to deal with climate change responsibly.
For more information, visit the South African campaign website at www.wwf.org.za/earthhour
• Visitors to the website are urged to register their details and voice their concerns around climate change.
• The website is a source of useful information illustrating how the critical areas of food, energy and water are affected by climate change.
• A toolkit offers handy materials, such as Facebook and Twitter banners, that can be downloaded for use during Earth Hour.
• Those organising their own Earth Hour events are asked to share their events and on the site for others to see what is happening around the country.
Observe Earth Hour this year between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on 28 March 2015 by marking the symbolic hour of darkness.
The campaign slogan this year is “You have the power this Earth Hour to change climate change!”