Earth Hour sparks climate change action worldwide
Earth Hour is an opportunity to take some time – an hour to be precise – to reflect on the choices we make each day, and going forward, how can we shape those choices into actions that benefit our future. Earth Hour action has already started globally. Countries have started petitions, rallies, and even light bulb installations (energy-efficient, of course), all supporting action against climate change.
© Juan Carlos DEL OLMO / WWF-Spain
WWF’s Earth Hour in Russia has launched its 2013 campaign aiming to secure more than 100,000 signatures from Russian citizens to petition for amendments to the current forest legislation. This action follows the massive success of its 120,000-strong signature petition to protect its seas from oil pollution. If the new petition is successful, industrial logging will face a ban in an area equal to twice the size of France – protected forests then equaling 18% of all forest territory in the country.
In Africa, the first Earth Hour Forest has begun in the nation of Uganda – an important first step in the fight against the 6,000 hectares of deforestation that occurs in the country every month. WWF Uganda identified close to 2,700 hectares of degraded land, and set a goal to fill it with at least 500,000 indigenous trees as part of their Earth Hour 2013 campaign.
In Botswana, former President Mr. Festus Mogae has made a four-year commitment to plant one million indigenous trees, as a commitment to Earth Hour, starting with 100,000 in a severely degraded area in Southern Botswana.
Across Latin America, preparations for Earth Hour or, ‘La Hora Del Planeta,’ are well underway with Argentinean Earth Hour organizers and WWF affiliate Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina, mobilizing thousands of participants to help champion the passing of a Senate bill to make Banco Burwood the biggest Marine Protected Area in the country.
Meanwhile, in our neighbouring country, the United States, nearly 35,000 Girls Scouts took part in Earth Hour last year through the Save Energy Project, and installed 132,141 energy efficient light bulbs across the country. The impact is a staggering 75,392,654 pounds of CO2 emissions eliminated, equivalent to the CO2 sequestration from planting 7,286 acres of trees per year. We can’t wait to see what they have planned this year!
Clearly, impressive strides are being made globally to combat climate change, and WWF hopes that Earth Hour inspires others to take action as well.