Earth Hour Live

Tonight, millions of people are joining together, and turning off their lights to help make a difference and raise awareness about the issue of global warming. See how the world is taking part, with these live news feeds and images from participating cities. Don't forget to share your Earth Hour moments too. Remember - turn off your lights!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Earth Hour in Fiji globally marks the urgency for action on climate change

A similar global effort to Earth Hour took place three years ago with the launch the Kyoto Protocol. This month marks the third anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol.

At the 13th United Nations climate change conference in Indonesia in December 2007, countries around the world agreed to negotiate, under the Kyoto Protocol, global emissions reductions targets for the period after the year 2012. The target of the Kyoto Protocol is to achieve a 5% reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions based on 1990 levels by the year 2012.

WWF South Pacific Programme (SPPO) Climate Change Campaigner, Ms. Jyotishma Rajan Naicker said: “People argue that current targets under the Protocol are inadequate. However, the Kyoto Protocol, as a legally binding agreement, is an important first step in addressing the root cause of climate change- emissions of gases like carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels.

In order to avoid the dangerous levels of climate change, global emissions must decline by 60-85% by 2050, based on 1990 levels. Many governments do no want to adopt this target as they feel it will impact their fossil fuel based industries negatively,” added Naicker.

This is however not true. Switching from fossil fuel based industries to renewable energy industries will result in job creation and contribute positively to economies.”

Climate change poses a very serious problem for Pacific Island economies, environment and livelihoods. Pacific Island countries are already experiencing serious impacts of climate change like more frequent droughts and cyclones, higher king tides and subsequent losses in agriculture, infrastructure damage, increased incidence of diseases and greater coastal erosion.

Pacific Island countries, including Fiji, must play very active roles in the United Nations climate change policy negotiations to ensure that negotiations continue to take place under the Kyoto Protocol, are based on science and ensure that the outcomes adequately address Pacific Island priorities.

The Kyoto Protocol’s 3rd anniversary comes just over a month before a WWF event- Earth Hour. Suva will be the first city in the world to switch off its lights on March 29th, from 8-9pm, to make a stand on climate change.

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