In a world first, Sydney will switch off its lights for one hour from 7.30pm on 31 March 2007, as part of a major campaign to cut electricity use by five per cent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At all times during Earth Hour, essential lighting and public services will be maintained.
This campaign is about raising awareness of global warming and encouraging people to consider what they can do individually to reduce environmental impacts.
A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns of more floods, droughts and estimates that temperatures will rise by three degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2100, because of greenhouse gases. We cannot afford to remain idle.
Electricity for our homes and workplaces accounts for one third of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, and consumption is growing rapidly. Using energy more efficiently and developing sustainable sources of power are environmental and economic imperatives.
The event will also raise awareness of the range of programs available to homes and businesses to help them increase their energy efficiency.
The Earth Hour campaign is already achieving change through more commercial buildings signing up for our 3CBDs Greenhouse Initiative to increase their energy efficiency. The 3CBDs climate change initiative, organised by City of Sydney, North Sydney and Parramatta Councils, aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 19,000 tonnes a year.
I encourage you to switch off non-essential lights on 31 March, and to join WWF Australia, the City of Sydney, Fairfax Media and the NSW Government.
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