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!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kyoto ratification in force as corporates gather for Earth Hour

March 11, 2008: Speaking at a breakfast attended by over 200 of Australia’s business leaders - including The Hon. Morris Iemma, Premier of NSW and Clover Moore MP, Lord Mayor of Sydney - Andy Ridley, Executive Director Earth Hour today announced that over 5,000 businesses have signed up to switch off for Earth Hour.

Today’s show of business support for the WWF-led Earth Hour campaign comes as Australia's involvement in the Kyoto Protocol comes into force.

“We are seeing a sustainability revolution taking place with companies both large and small beginning to address climate change, and show leadership in dealing with this critical challenge,” said Ridley.

Corporate Australia is showing breakthrough commitment to Earth Hour, with more than three quarters of the top 100 ASX companies agreeing to switch off their lights and more companies set to join the movement before the March 29 deadline.

Speaking on the Kyoto ratification, Greg Bourne, CEO, WWF-Australia said, "Kyoto is only the first step. We now need to consider our commitments beyond Kyoto which expires in 2012. Earth Hour is designed to provide governments with a mandate to make the necessary decisions at the Copenhagen Climate Conference in 2009 to protect the future of the planet. “Earth Hour’s strength lies in individuals taking action. The support of each individual within every business in Australia, and the combined difference they will make as part of a huge environmental movement is critical."

An example of one individual taking action is Cathy Freeman. In an upcoming television Community Service Announcement, the Australian Olympic gold medalist, demonstrates the difference an individual can make, by racing through the city streets and switching off as many lights as she can in 60 minutes.

“Cathy managed to turn off 6,399 lights in one hour, which is an amazing achievement, but reinforces the idea that each and every person has a part to play and can make a difference,” said Ridley.

Today’s corporate gathering follows the recent Federal Government announcement that it will support Earth Hour. All levels of government - Federal, State and Local - are now officially backing the climate change initiative, joining thousands of individuals who have already pledged support.

Earth Hour is just the first step in educating staff about the easy and cost effective ways of embracing green policies in the workplace. If Australia’s commercial sector turned off lights when buildings weren’t in use and combined this action with other energy efficient technologies they could reduce lighting emissions by up to 70 per cent, saving around 10 million tonnes of green gas emissions annually.

For more information on Earth Hour, or for a full list of businesses that are taking part in Earth Hour 2008, go to

Companies that have committed to Earth Hour include:
AGL, ANZ Banking Group Limited, Babcock & Brown Environmental Investments Limited, Centennial Coal Company Limited, Coca-Cola Amatil Limited, Coca-Cola Australia, David Jones Limited, Energy Australia, Fairfax Media, The GPT Group, Hewlett-Packard Australia, HSBC Bank Australia Limited, IAG, InterContinental Hotel, Jones Lang LaSalle, Leo Burnett, Mirvac, McDonalds Australia, Origin Energy, Perpetual Limited, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Queen B, Star City Casino, Stockland, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, UBS, Veda Advantage, Woodhead and Zerofootprint Australia.

For more information contact:
Kath Eggleston, WWF-Australia Press Office
T: +61 2 8202 1294 / 0408 408 562

About Earth Hour
On March 31 2007, for one hour, Sydney made a powerful statement about the greatest contributor to global warming – coal-fired electricity – by turning off its lights. Over 2.2 million Sydney residents and over 2,100 businesses turned off their lights, leading to a 10.2% energy reduction across the city. What began as one city taking a stand against global warming caught the attention of the world. In 2008, 24 global cities will participate in Earth Hour at 8pm on March 29. Earth Hour is the highlight of a major campaign to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their emissions on an ongoing basis. It is about simple changes that will collectively make a difference – from businesses turning off their lights when their offices are empty, to households turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.

About WWF
WWF-Australia is part of the WWF International Network, the world's largest and most experienced independent conservation organisation. It has close to five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. This is achieved by working on the ground with local communities, and in partnership with government and industry, using the best possible science to advocate change and effective conservation policy.

Leo Burnett Sydney
Award winning agency, Leo Burnett is WWF's partner in the Earth Hour initiative. The agency, in collaboration with WWF, has created the Earth Hour identity and logo and a dedicated holistic communications campaign, designed to harness the power of TV, radio, print and interactive.

No comments: