On Saturday, March 28, at 8:30 p.m., residents of
Newfoundland and Labrador are encouraged to observe Earth Hour by
turning off their lights to raise awareness about climate change and
make a personal commitment to taking action.
"We know that this one hour wonít stop climate change,
but it will demonstrate that our individual actions are extremely
important and make a difference," said the Honourable Charlene Johnson,
Minister of Environment and Conservation. "Everyone can participate in
Earth Hour and itís as simple as turning off a switch, literally. We can
participate alone or with family and friends. The important message is
that we need to participate."
The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) created Earth Hour
in 2007 to encourage individuals to take action on climate change and
send a message that they want meaningful emission reductions through the
establishment of greater policies and regulations. Last year, almost 10
million Canadians turned off their lights during Earth Hour. Earth Hour
has grown from a single event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 to a global
phenomenon across six continents in 2008.
"Observing Earth Hour is a personal commitment to
reducing our environmental footprint and to encouraging the same level
of commitment from government," said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale,
Minister of Natural Resources. "Conservation of energy also protects our
environment and this event allows us to do that while mobilizing people
to taking global climate change action."
The success of Earth Hour is measured through
participation. To do this, the WWF will look at online sign-ups and
conduct post-event polling. Hydro companies around the country will also
measure the impact on the electricity grid, and households and
businesses can measure usage by comparing energy bills. The dollar
amount saved and the average daily usage in kilowatt hours (kWh) can
serve as indicators by comparing them with previous energy bills.
Minister Johnson said that government has demonstrated
its commitment to climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in
Budget 2009. "We allocated $1.3 million in this yearís budget towards
the development of the necessary tools, policies and strategies to help
communities in our province assess and adapt to climate change impacts,"
said Minister Johnson. "This also includes the establishment of a new
Climate Change Office to provide policy development and analysis on
climate change, energy efficiency and emissions trading. This truly
speaks to our focus on this important environmental challenge."
For more information on Earth Hour, please visit