Press Release - Vote Earth, by turning off your lights for one hour on Saturday March 28 beginning at 8.30 pm local time, wherever you live in the Pacific.The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) supports Earth Hour, an initiative of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), and is pleased by the commitment from those in the Pacific who are gearing up towards 'flicking the switch'.
Over 1,750 cities, towns and municipalities in over 80 countries have committed to "Voting Earth" during Earth Hour this year. Fiji, Samoa, Tuvalu and Papua New Guinea have already embraced Earth Hour as an expression of global solidarity in voting for immediate action to reduce carbon emissions - the major cause of climate change. SPREP encourages all other Pacific islands to also take a stand.
"We in the Pacific face immense climate change impacts if greenhouse gas emissions are not significantly reduced," says Kosi Latu, Acting Director of SPREP. "We will also have problems in adapting to climate change and require resources and support. We know the emissions from the Pacific islands region are miniscule in global terms, but the region is nevertheless taking momentous steps towards reducing those emissions."
A Pacific-wide renewable energy project will reduce fossil fuel emissions from Pacific islands by 33 per cent by 2015, but there are also other initiatives underway at the national levels in the Pacific islands.
Latu added that there is an urgent imperative to reduce global carbon emissions and that SPREP will continue to support the Pacific Islands in their efforts to secure a more ambitious reduction target through international negotiations. A series of international meetings are being held this year in the lead up to the 15th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark in December this year.
"We call on all those in our member countries, who are in a position to do so, to join in this initiative and make a stand for the future of the planet. We hope the World will listen to our call and take our requests for a larger global carbon emission reduction target seriously," said Latu.
For more information on how to join the Earth Hour visit www.earthhour.org