Earth Hour 2010 aims to surpass last year's target: WWF

Last year, the organisation was able to encourage saving of around 1,200 megawatts of energy in India

As cities world over switch off lights for one hour tomorrow in an attempt to create more awareness about climate change, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) exuded optimism about the ‘Earth Hour 2010’ initiative in India saving more energy than last year.

“Of all sectors, the power sector solely contributes a whopping 50% to India's total carbon emission. Under the Earth Hour initiative, people are motivated to switch off their lights and electrical appliances from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm on 27th March.

“This is a measure to create awareness about depleting climatic conditions on Earth,” said Aarti Khosla, campaign manager, WWF India.

Last year, the organisation was able to encourage saving of around 1,200 megawatts of energy in India, “but this year we definitely plan to surpass this,” said Ms Khosla.

Growing environmental threats—like the recent devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile—have highlighted the reasons for natural resource conservation at all levels.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called Earth Hour “both a warning and a beacon of hope.”

“Climate change is a concern for each of us. Solutions are within our grasp and are ready to be implemented by individuals, communities, businesses and governments around the globe,” Mr Ban said in a statement.

The UN will be joining the initiative along with many other landmarks around the world.

However, several other groups in India have also shown keen interest in the occasion for creating awareness in the masses regarding the dire need to preserve natural resources.

“Climate change is a discrepancy created by persistent human exploitation. Hence, its cure lies only in a consistent and united human initiative. Individual awareness and action is the key to combat climate change,” said Aditi Mehndiratta, head of Sanrakshan, a nature conservation initiative of an NGO.

At the British High Commission in India, environmental films will be screened a day prior to the Earth Hour. “A film screening and photo exhibition is being organised in order to sensitise our staff and their families about the depleting state of the environment. Apart from this, office lighting would be turned off from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm,” says Dan Chugg, spokesperson for the Commission.

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