Earth Hour shines light on climate change

2016-02-24 06:00

EARTH HOUR is the world’s biggest grassroots movement for the environment.

This year, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is shining a light on one of the most challenging issue of our times – climate change.

We know that awareness leads to action and action leads to change which is why we are throwing down the gauntlet to all South Africans to take individual or group actions that collectively translate into meaningful impact.

Getting involved is easy

Just visit the Earth Hour platform on the WWF website ( and state how you intend to play your part in addressing climate change. To make it even simpler, the pledge platform allows for commitments to be made under one of four categories: food, energy, water and waste.

Food, energy and water are the three essentials we need to survive and thrive. However, each of these is under pressure in the face of a changing climate.

This pressure is exacerbated by our waste management, including the more than nine million tonnes of food that is thrown away each year.

“Collective action is effective and inspiring. The switch off of lights, which this year happens on Saturday, 19 March, from 20:30 to 21:30, is a simple act which symbolises unity and a common desire for change. We call on all South Africans to take part,” says Morné du Plessis, CEO of WWF South Africa.

Across the world, Earth Hour has inspired hundreds of millions of individuals and organisations in more than 7 000 cities and towns in more than 170 countries and territories.

What does the climate have to do with your food, energy, water and waste?

Crop failure, loss of livestock and a reduced food supply are all threats of climate change. At the same time, globally, we waste in excess of nine million tonnes of food a year.

Extreme weather patterns such as flooding and severe droughts will increase as global average temperature soars. Recent water shortages in South Africa are a case in point. ­

Energy is essential for us to prosper, but the means by which we produce it is one of the biggest contributors to climate change.

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