Organizers Aim to Inspire 15 Million Filipinos in 1000 Towns and Cities Nationwide
Mark your calendars, folks: Saturday night, 27 March 2010. When the clock strikes 8:30PM, the world will once more be engulfed in darkness – and a Billion people will celebrate the biggest party in recorded history.
Now in its third year in the country and envisioned as a celebration of climate change solutions, Earth Hour Philippines aims to inspire 15 Million Filipinos in 1000 towns, cities and municipalities to switch off and join in the revelry – in an environmentally-conscious manner, that is. Many of the nation’s most iconic landmarks are expected to dim their lights in the largest call for action on climate change. Cities from around the world, from Europe to Africa, are expected to join in.
Crafted to take a stand against the greatest threat our planet has ever faced, Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off lights for an hour to deliver a powerful message on the need for climate change solutions. This simple act has captured the hearts and minds of people all over the world, becoming a worldwide phenomenon in 2008 and 2009 – where the Philippines placed first globally in terms of town and city participation.
Earth Hour 2009 inspired over 10 Million Filipinos in 647 cities and municipalities to switch off, saving an estimated 611MWh of electricity – equivalent to shutting down a dozen coal-fired power-plants for an hour. Earth Hour Philippines is a yearly effort of WWF-Philippines, the Department of Energy (DoE), Green Army Network and SWITCH Movement. 2010 partners include Ipanema, Century Tuna, Sustagen, Philips, Motolite, Meralco, SM Malls, Ayala Malls, Bonifacio Global City, GMA-7, ABS-CBN, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, Infinit-1 Communications, FocusMedia Audiovisuals, Leo Burnett, ECC International, Dig It All, Friendster, Discovery Channel and National Geographic.
Sectoral consultations have yielded strong commitments for more sustained efforts on climate change. Among the groups that have pledged commitments are the Archdiocese of Manila, University of the Philippines, Technological University of the Philippines, Manila Doctors College, REACT, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Ortigas Foundation, Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Manila Jaycees, Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines, Philippine Science Centrum, World Youth Alliance, Habitat for Humanity and Gawad Kalinga.
The business community has also pledged participation. Companies which have committed support include the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Ascott Group, Dusit Thani Manila, Chevron, Abenson, First Gen, Jollibee Foods Corporation, Unilever, Globe, PLDT, PhilBIO and Piandré.
Earth Hour kick-off activities were launched in Davao and Cebu. In Davao City, stakeholders from various sectors led by the Green Alliance for Davao, Mindanao Business Council, Save Davao Gulf Foundation and the Davao City National High School pledged collective support. In Cebu, over 1000 stakeholders gathered at the SM City Cebu to share their collective support for Earth Hour.
The Earth Hour Philippines road show, led by Energy Secretary Angelo T. Reyes, is set to visit Iloilo, Baguio, Ilocos Norte, Laguna, Bicol, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Tuguegarao and Clark. “Earth Hour is a simple act that emphasizes the importance of adopting energy efficient practices and lifestyles,” says Secretary Reyes. “In this season of political divisiveness, let us all bear in mind that there are fundamental values and aspirations that we all share as Filipinos and as citizens of the world. One of our common causes is the stewardship of our planet through responsible energy practices and other means. So, on March 27, let’s all get together and Vote Earth!"
Since Earth Hour 2009, each of the Earth Hour allies has advocated for the adoption of renewable energy technologies and energy-efficient practices. “Climate change is the biggest threat to the Philippines. We could lose 2000 isles to sea level rise alone – a scenario which could be made worse by dwindling natural resources,” says Earth Hour Philippines National Director Yeb Saño. “Luckily, Filipinos have a unique Bayanihan spirit – a brotherhood of kinship that unites people. Through the message of Earth Hour – that it’s time to think of solutions now – we stand a good chance of adapting to climate change.”