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Earth Hour 2009


by Energy Matters

Earth Hour 2009

The greenest megawatt of electricity is the one you don't have to generate - and if last year's Earth Hour is any indication, quite a few megawatts will be saved during the upcoming event.  

Earth Hour 2009 is an initiative of the WWF where individuals, businesses and governments turn off their lights for one hour to show their support for action on climate change. This year's event will be held Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm-local time.

Originally an Australian event, cities in more than 60 countries around the world have committed to Earth Hour 2009. Locally, over 100 councils have already signed up to participate.

This year's Earth Hour will represent a major push is for an effective international agreement at the Copenhagen climate conference, a conference seen by some as a last ditch effort to secure policies that will prevent catastrophic and irreversible climate change. Among the issues to be highlighted is establishment of a solid global carbon market and other financial processes that promote renewable energy investment in developing countries, support the implementation of basic clean energy infrastructure in least developed countries, and deliver deep emissions reductions within developed countries.

Over 50 million people, representing over 400 cities on all seven continents, took part last year, making Earth Hour 2008  the largest climate event of all time. 58 per cent of Australian adults in capital cities participated by turning off the lights at home (56%), turning off some household appliances (46%), and taking the mobile phone off charger off standby (37%).

While a symbolic act, the WWF points out that actions such as the Vietnam War protests and the Sorry Day march do help drive positive change and Earth Hour is a way for people to get involved; no matter their location, age or income level.

Businesses in particular are being encouraged to participate in Earth Hour 2009. In Australia, if the commercial sector turned off lights when buildings weren't in use and combined this action with other cost effective energy efficiency technology, the WWF says lighting greenhouse gas emissions could be slashed 70-80%.



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