As a follow-up to the historic Paris climate agreement, WWF’s Earth Hour is advocating the need for climate action, and calling people around the world to help "change climate change". In 2015, 195 nations agreed to combat climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future, and set a path to keep temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius. Earth Hour 2016 is now our time to shine a light on climate action and make a transition towards clean energy. With a record participation of 172 countries and territories around the world, Earth Hour has inspired millions to move towards energy conservation and energy efficiency. Earth Hour 2016 will be celebrated on Saturday, March 19 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
In India, the Earth Hour campaign has received unprecedented support, demonstrated by participation in over 150 cities by several State and City Governments, the Armed Forces, public and private sector companies, celebrities and individuals. Lights at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Prime Minister’s residence, residences of Chief Ministers and landmark monuments like the India Gate, the Gateway of India, the Howrah Bridge, etc. have been switched off every year in support of the movement.
Earth Hour 2016 is calling on citizens across the country to switch off non-essential lights for the hour and go solar. Supporting the government’s pledge to move toward renewable energy, the campaign is focusing on the benefits of renewable energy for a sustainable and greener future. Blessed with approximately 300 clear sunny days, India has a potential to harness 5,000 trillion kWh of energy per year, much more than the country’s total annual energy requirement.
While addressing the media here in Guwahati Archita Baruah Bhattacharyya, Senior Programme Officer, WWF-India said “Earth Hour is a global campaign which has brought the global community together to fight a common cause. Observing Earth Hour shall induce a change in habit among the citizens which will help in controlling global warming to a great extent.” Earth Hour, 2016 will be celebrated in Guwahati on March 19 from 6:45 pm to 9:30 pm at Dighalipukhuri Park. The live cricket match of India-Pakistan to be held in Kolkata will be shown in solar energy during the earth hour. Similar screening will be done in many other places viz. Dona Planet, Central Mall, etc. in Guwahati. Besides this, a Space Safari is also being organized to show the stars and moon in night sky during earth hour in association with ‘Pragjyotish Amateur Astronomers’ Association and ‘Infinity’ followed by live performance by students of various institutes of Guwahati. Most impactful activity from WWF-AAPSO will be the installation of Solar Standalone lights in Dighalipukhuri park in order to highlight the theme behind this year’s earth hour ‘Go Solar’. In Guwahati, in support of the campaign, the Gauhati High Court, Assam Secretariat, Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakhetra, National Museum, District Library, Rabindra Bhawan, India Club, Guwahati Club, many RWAs and other landmark buildings and offices shall switch off their lights during the Earth Hour. Students from TISS, National Law University, Handique Girls’ College, Cotton College, Gauhati Commerce College, IIT-G, AEI, etc. are volunteering with WWF-India, AAPSO for the Earth Hour 2016 campaign.
Forest Man of India from Majuli, Padma Shri Jadav Payeng is the Brand Ambassador from Assam for Earth Hour, 2016, WWF’s global campaign to raise awareness and inspire individual action on climate change. Payeng appealed the people of Assam to support the cause by switching off the un-necessary lights during Earth Hour and always.
The Deputy Commissioner Kamrup (M), Commissioner of Police- Guwahati City, Assam Tourism Development Corporation Limited (ATDC), Assam Power Development Corporation Limited (APDCL), Assam Energy Development Agency (AEDA) have extended their whole hearted support to the campaign and thereby the cause. The event in Assam is sponsored and supported by LIC, SBI, Pragjyotish Amateur Astronomers’ Association, Infinity, Strawberry Fields, MAC Power Systems, Network Travels, OLA Cabs, J K Educational & Charitable Trust, AADI Advertising, ABIONA and few others.
Speaking on the ocassion Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, WWF-India, said in a message, “With the Paris agreement, the world is now looking at responsible and shared climate action towards creating a sustainable future. The Earth Hour movement spans across the country, making concerted efforts towards creating awareness on renewable energy amongst individuals, corporates and other decision-makers. The campaign has received a lot of support from various corners of the country, over the years and its messaging and open-source model encourages participation in a symbolic switch off and leads people to adopt sustainable practices in order to conserve the finite resources of our planet. This year, Earth Hour hopes to reach out to people to promote the benefits of solar energy. We are encouraging everyone to switch off for an hour and make a switch to solar energy through rooftop solar solutions."
Earth Hour is WWF's global environmental movement. Started in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become the world's largest grassroot movement for the environment, inspiring individuals, communities, businesses and organizations in over 170 countries and territories to take tangible climate action. Celebrating the tenth edition of its signature lights out event in March 2016, the Earth Hour movement continues to harness the power of its millions of supporters to shine a light on climate action and the power of the individual to change climate change.