Spread word of Earth Hour online, WWF asks Pinoys

With just one week to go before Earth Hour, environmental group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) asked tech-savvy Filipinos to build up awareness and support through Internet and texting.

The WWF particularly called on the social networking community to spread the Earth Hour message through e-groups, blogs, web videos and texts.

“The commitments of support grow with each day. We urge everyone to spread the word and join millions throughout the world by switching-off lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night, 28 March.

This is our chance to show the world what our Bayanihan spirit can do, for only when we act as one will Earth Hour be successful,” said Earth Hour National Director Yeb Saño, in an article on the WWF website (www.wwf.org.ph).

Earth Hour is a massive social movement aimed to mobilize action against climate change through the simple act of turning off lights.

For this year, Earth Hour will be held Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Launched in Australia on March 31, 2007, Earth Hour moved over two million people and 2100 businesses in Sydney to turn off their lights for 60 minutes.

The Philippines was the first Southeast Asian nation to pledge support, with Pasay, Manila, Parañaque and Makati Cities observing a switch-off ceremony at Roxas Boulevard.

“Earth Hour 2008 remains the country’s largest environmental action. Last year, total power savings amounted to 80MWh. 56MWh was saved in Luzon alone – equivalent to shutting down a coal-fired power plant for one hour. More important than the power we saved was the awareness and positive action generated. This year, Earth Hour 2009 hopes to inspire at least 10 million Filipinos to unite and act for the environment,”
said Saño.

Earth Hour is an initiative of WWF, the Department of Energy, Green Army Network and SWITCH movement. Over a hundred corporations, schools, public and private organizations have now pledged support. The roster of supporters grows by the hour.

Institutional partners such as the Archdiocese of Manila Ministry, Boy and Girl Scouts, CBCP, Department of Education, Earth Day Network, Gawad Kalinga, Habitat for Humanity, League of Corporate Foundations, National Electrification Administration, National Historical Institute, Outdoor Advertiser’s Association of the Philippines, Philippine Jaycees, Renewable Energy Coalition, Rotary Club and World Youth Alliance have also pledged support.

The Department of Energy has given its full backing for the movement.
“This is a cause that should unite us as Filipinos and as citizens of the world,” said DOE Secretary Angelo Reyes.

“Will Earth Hour alone stop climate change? No. But it is a statement that we will not go down without a fight,” added WWF Vice Chairman and CEO Lory Tan.

The global aim of Earth Hour is to secure the participation of one billion people in 1000 cities globally.

Already over 1,500 cities in 80 countries including the United States, China, Russia and India have signed on.

“It is hoped that this global gesture will send a clear message for world leaders to take strong and decisive action against climate change,” said Saño.

Top leaders will meet in Copenhagen this coming December to craft a post-Kyoto policy for tackling the world’s mounting problems on climate change.

“The strength of our message ultimately depends on how many Filipinos will join in,” said Saño. – via GMANews.TV

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