ABOUT EARTH HOUR Earth Hour is WWFs global campaign inspiring governments, businesses, communi ties and individuals to take a stand against Climate Change. It is that one crucial hour uniting the world and building synergies through the collective action of switching off non essential lights in celebration of life and our planet.
Where Earth Hour began• Earth Hour was launched in Sydney, Australia in 2007, where 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour.• Just a year later, Earth Hour reached 370 cities and towns in more than 35 countries across 18 time zones, and the campaign shifted from a ‘Sydney Event’ to a ‘Global Sustainability Movement’.• Since then, every year Earth Hour sets new standards and breaks its own records of mass participation and support.• 2010 received participation from a record 1.3 billion individuals across 4616 cities in 128 countries globally.• Notable landmarks like Acropolis in Greece, Eiffel Tower in Paris, Hiroshima Peace Gardens in Japan, and Pyramids in Egypt switched off in support.
Where Earth Hour began• 2011 was a memorable year in the history of the campaign, as it marked a new phase, with supporters going beyond the hour by committing to sustainable action all year round.• A record 1.8 billion individuals across more than 5200 cities in 135 countries participated by switching off lights, and pledging to imbibe environment friendly practices into everyday life to benefit the planet.• The year 2012 was bigger than ever, with more than 7000 cities across 150 countries participated in the campaign.
Why get involved?• Earth Hour is a unique opportunity for individuals, groups, businesses and governments to do something positive for the environment.• It is not just about saving energy for that one hour, but it symbolizes the first step in the direction of adopting environment friendly activities into everyday life, which will lead the way towards a cleaner environment and a sustainable lifestyle.
EARTH HOUR IN INDIA• India has celebrated Earth Hour for three consecutive years since 2009, with each year breaking its own records of participation from the citizens of the country.• In 2011, individuals from more than 130 Indian cities switching off their lights, showing how great things can be achieved when people come together for a common cause.
The Journey so far……• India joined the Earth Hour movement in 2009, where 5 million Indians across 56 cities showed their support by switching off non essential lights and saving approximately 1000 MW of power in that one hour.• Hundreds on educational institutions, 100 top public and private sector organizations, and governments of various cities participated.
The Journey so far……• In the last three years, the campaign has grown into a national movement supported by individuals, local governments, private and public sector organizations, and institutions.• In 2011, individuals across 130 Indian cities participated and committed to a better lifestyle, adhering to the new phase of the campaign going beyond the hour.• Over 1,000,000 students joined the movement as young environmentalists. Earth Hour penetrated beyond the urban and educated masses alone, witnessing participation from tier II and III cities, and villages with no access to basic energy requirements.
The Journey so far……• Local governments and state and city officials inspired citizens to observe Earth Hour leading by example, and switching off lights in State Chief Ministers residents and important landmarks across the state.• Reiterating India’s sincere commitment towards environment conservation, the Rashtrapati Bhawan also switched off lights, so did the Prime Ministers’ residence.
The Journey so far……• In 2012, Earth Hour reached more than 150 Indian cities, and touched important milestones.• For the first time ever, the iconic Mysore palace observed Earth Hour by reducing the duration of illumination of the Palace on weekends from 15 minutes to 5 minutes.• This symbolic gesture sent out a powerful message not only to the citizens of the city and country, but to the thousands of international tourists who visit the Palace to witness this magnificent illumination.• The campaign has been endorsed by well known celebrities such as Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Vidya Balan, Sachin Tendulkar, Rana Dagubatti, the Royal Challengers cricket team, Chennai film actor and singer Dhanush, Kolkota film actor Rituparna Sengupta, who all helped increase outreach by appealing to their fans and followers to participate.
EARTH HOUR 2013• Earth Hour continues to be a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community. A call to stand up, to show leadership and be responsible for our future. At 8:30 PM on 23rd March 2013, the world will come together once again to switch off for an hour.• This Earth Hour, switch off lights, and make a sincere commitment to become a more aware and conscious consumer!• Earth Hour 2013 aims to introduce and raise awareness about Renewable Energy solutions as an upcoming and practical option for you to adopt to reduce your impact on the environment.
Earth Hour 2013 calls for:• Individuals to commit to adopting household products powered by Renewable Energy.• Organization to adopt renewable energy solutions to run their business operations and production processes.• Governments to adopt policies favorable to the production of renewable energy to meet power demands.• The speed and scale of climate change, fuelled by an ever increasing consumption pattern of the Earth’s resources, is impacting individuals all over the world. Unless we make efforts to transform our energy production systems to 100% renewable, we may do irreversible damage to our planet. Each one of us has the power to make this transition possible by taking small, yet significant steps.• Each one of us has the power to change the world we live in! You can take your first step right now.
Making the transition to 100% renewable is the need of the hour!• The speed, scale and complexity of climate change is having a multiplying effect on other environmental stresses, and calls for inclusive actions of equal speed and scale.• In light of the negative effects of fossil fuels and future projected energy demands, a transformation of global energy systems towards 100% renewable is an absolute necessity.
Why is it important to make the transition to Renewable Energy now?• It is a well known fact today, that on a global average, we are consuming 50% more than the Earth’s annual bio capacity, and such severe pressure on the planets resources is propelling us towards a changing climate, the effects of which are being felt across the world.• From unexpected changing seasons, to cyclones and floods, to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the Earth is sending out loud and clear signals to humanity, that if we do not act now to change the way we live, we will be lock-in an irreversible damage to our planet.
Why is it important to make the transition to Renewable Energy now?• For the first time in history, more than 50% of the human population is living in cities around the world, which now account for 70% of the worlds CO2 emissions.• In India, 30% of the population has migrated to cities, and this is expected to double by the year 2050. Our lifestyle pattern and the need for urban development to sustain this growing population are increasingly becoming more dependent on energy.• While development is inevitable, and a necessity, it is very much possible to transform our global energy production systems towards 100% renewable and reduce wasteful consumption.• Meeting the growing energy demands with the existing energy productions systems will ensure a catastrophe with global repercussions on our natural systems.• Moreover, from a long term economic perspective, climate change is more serious in terms of its expected negative effects than any single financial crisis.• Climate change is a global challenge, and must be tackled by individuals, governments, and organizations around the world in the spirit of cooperation.• What we need today are new energy solutions with radically reduced climate impact for every business sector, and environmental policies favourable to this transition.
The need for Renewable Energy in India• As India’s economy develops, energy requirements and per capita consumptions and emissions are also expected to increase dramatically.• India is the third largest Green House Gas emitting country in the world, though in per capital terms it might be much lower than the global average.• In the next 20 years, to sustain its growing population, India will have to increase its primary energy supply by a factor of three to four, and increase electricity generation by a factor of five to six. India’s energy demands are increasing at the rate of 2.5% annually .• while more than 600 million Indians still have no access to electricity. The challenge in India is to ensure continued economic growth while adopting sustainable solutions to environment protection, climate mitigation and climate adaptation.
How is India making the transition towards Renewables?• India is the first country to have a dedicated Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), and ranks the 5th in the world as a producer of renewable energy.• India has an ambitious target for solar energy to achieve 20 GWh of installed solar power generation capacity by 2020. Additionally, the country already has 16.2 GWh of installed capacity from wind, and significant amounts from biomass and mini-hydro power plants. In terms of investments, India ranks 10th among the G20 members and constitutes 2% of the total G20 investment in renewable energy.• Indias National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) is a comprehensive framework for addressing challenges of climate change, while following a path of ecologically sustainable development.• Its two pronged strategy works towards protecting the poor and the vulnerable through inclusive, sustainable development that is sensitive to climate change, and achieving growth objectives in the direction of enhanced ecological sustainability and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.• In addition, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency is a proactive body introducing successful programmes to reduce energy consumption by way of increasing efficiency of systems.
Why are the traditional sources of energy not good enough?• Fossil fuels are the main source of energy in India while coal alone contributes to more than 60% of India’s electric power generation.• It is the only natural resource available in abundance in India and consequently used as a thermal energy source. India is the third largest producer of coal in the world but the coal it produces is of very poor quality.• While the thermal power plants use this coal to produce energy, they also produce hazardous gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other air borne inorganic particulates like fly ash that are responsible for the greenhouse effect. Burning coal is also a leading cause of smog, acid rain, and toxic air pollution. Harmful pollutants emitted from a typical coal plant include approximately:• 3.5 million tons of CO2 per year• 7,000 tons of SO2 (sulfur dioxide) per year• 3,300 tons of NOx (nitrogen oxides) per year• 500 tons of particulate matter• Traces of toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and uranium• Carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and arsenic