Tutu supports Earth Hour
Cape Town - As people around the world get ready to celebrate Earth Hour on Saturday, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has thrown his weight behind the initiative.
"Earth Hour is an opportunity for us to act together, the people united from all corners of the globe to send a powerful message on climate change. Enough is enough! Let us stop the destruction!" Tutu said in a statement.
Earth Hour will be celebrated around the world and organisers are hoping that millions will switch off the lights to demonstrate their collective will to try to stop global warming, which is blamed on emissions of carbon gases.
This year, there will be a special focus on the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and there will be a minute's silence during the event as a mark of remembrance for those who lost their lives.
"It's meant to be a celebration - it's a bit different this year because of the Japan stuff - but it's meant to be about hope and the future," said executive director Andy Ridley.
It is acknowledged that the event is symbolic, rather than a direct saving of greenhouse gases.
"Through the symbolic act of switching off our lights for one hour on Saturday 26 March from 8.30 - 9.30pm [20:30 - 21:30 in SA] we will collectively send our clarion call for change around the globe. 'Please, political leaders and captains of industry, we implore you. Take action against climate change now,'" Tutu said.
Tutu has announced that he has retired from politics, but takes an active role in social issues. He campaigned against global poverty and HIV/Aids along with U2's Bono on the band's 360° tour.
"It is the greatest honour to have someone of the immense stature of Archbishop Emeritus Tutu endorse the campaign yet again," said Zubair Sayed, executive manager of communication at World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa.
The WWF is calling on South Africans to commit to a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Recently, the activist organisation has also challenged the public to consume less water and electricity.
"I encourage you all, wherever you are and whatever your means: Switch off your lights and switch on to the meaning of Earth Hour. Join this global call by the people, for the planet," said Tutu.
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