Earth Hour 2013: EU leaders join millions around the world to call for real action on climate change



Posted on 21 March 2013  | 

Brussels, 21 March 2013: Connie Hedegaard - the EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Janez Potočnik - the EU Environment Commissioner, as well as Members of the European Parliament, join millions of people around the world to call for real action to protect our planet and fight climate change, on the occasion of Earth Hour 2013. Earth Hour [1], the world’s largest mass participation event with Hollywood star Jessica Alba as its newest global ambassador, will take place on Saturday 23 March from 20h30 to 21h30 CET.

From the European institutions to Sydney Opera House, Table Mountain, the Petronas Towers to the Brandenburg Gate, and the Tokyo Tower to the Empire State Building - a long list of the most recognisable iconic locations in 152 countries across the globe [2] will participate in Earth Hour 2013 this Saturday 23 March at 20h30 CET - joining millions of people around the world who will turn off their lights for one hour to send a powerful message for action to protect our planet and fight climate change.

Speaking in a Youtube video released on 11 March, Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, lent her support to Earth Hour, calling on everyone to think about what we can do to secure ‘a world we like with a climate we like’.

“If we start acting now on climate change, then we can still be in for a bright future”, she said. “The engagement of every single one of us counts, but the action of every single one of us will make the difference”.

Calling on everyone to switch off their lights for Earth Hour, she said: “This is certainly not THE solution but this is a reminder and an opportunity for you to stop and think about what you can do to secure a world you like with a climate you like.”

Smoggy cities and streets have also inspired Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik to do an “I will if you will challenge” [3]. Speaking in a Youtube video released on 25 February, Commissioner Potočnik said that if 1,000 people stopped using their cars for at least one week, he would write a song and perform it on stage in front of an equal number of people.

In the European Parliament, MEPS Tanja Fajon, Dan Jorgensen and Bas Eickhout, all members of the EU40, the network of Members of the European Parliament addressing those under forty years, also joined forces to support Earth Hour in a Youtube video and call on the need to step up efforts in the fight against climate change.

“Earth Hour not only continues to raise awareness of the threats of climate change, but also shows that through the concrete actions of politicians, businesses and citizens in Europe, we can make a significant difference and achieve the cut in CO2 emissions necessary to curb global warming” commented Tony Long, Director of the WWF European Policy Office.

“Earth Hour has always been more than a ‘lights off for an hour’ campaign. We are now seeing some extraordinary environmental outcomes on the way to achieving a long-term vision for a sustainable planet. In 2013, Earth Hour changes from an annual event towards a continuous movement driving real actions for real change [4]", he added.

- Ends –

1. Earth Hour is a global environmental initiative in partnership with WWF. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to join the global community for the world’s largest the world’s largest voluntary action for the environment that has become the iconic symbol of people’s commitment to protect the planet. Earth Hour began in one city in 2007 and by 2012 involved hundreds of millions of people in 152 countries across every continent, receiving reports as ‘the world’s largest campaign for the planet’.

2. This year, more than 150 countries and territories will be participating to Earth Hour; Palestine, Tunisia, Galapagos, Suriname, French Guyana, St. Helena and Rwanda are among those joining the global movement for the first time in 2013.

Click here to know more about the landmarks across the world which will go dark to Earth Hour: http://www.wwf.eu/?207967/Landmarks-across-the-world-go-dark-to-celebrate-major-environmental-outcomes-for-Earth-Hour

You can also find your local Earth Hour here: http://earthhour.org/external_modules/map/map/

For live updates on Earth Hour 2013, go to http://earthhour.org/live

3. The “I will if you will challenge” principle is simple: to challenge people to commit to one action to help counter climate change in exchange for you carrying out a dare - film it and post it here. This year more than 200,000 individuals have committed to a challenge.

4. The fight against climate change takes more than just one day of action. WWF encourages European citizens to take 5 simple steps to reduce their impact on the environment and find out how much CO2 they can save in doing so.

1. TRAVEL: Leave your car at home to go work
2. HEATING: Reduce the temperature on your thermostat by one degree
3. COOKING: Cook a low –carbon meal
4. ENERGY PROVIDER: Switch to green energy
5. LIGHTING: Install energy efficient light bulbs

Take action NOW on http://www.earthhour.be/en-gb/home/!

5. See the Earth Hour 2013 Official Video at www.ehour.me/2013ViD

Press images can be downloaded at http://earthhour.org/media-centre/images

Downloadable video footage of the global event will be available in four B-rolls for media, covering major regions at http://www.earthhour.org/media-centre/videos

Media enquiries:

Audrey Gueudet
Communication and Media Officer
WWF European Policy Office
agueudet@wwf.eu
Phone: +32 2 743 88 06 |
Mobile: + 32 4 94 032 027

To join the global community head to:

• ♣ Earth Hour www.earthhour.org
• ♣ Facebook www.facebook.com/earthhour
• ♣ Twitter www.twitter.com/earthhour
• ♣ YouTube www.YouTube.com/EarthHour
• ♣ Google+ plus.google.com/+EarthHour
Earth Hour, Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany
© David Biene Enlarge

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