Nationwide Support for Earth Hour Mounts


Earth Hour Press Release

NATIONWIDE SUPPORT FOR EARTH HOUR MOUNTS

Various organizations—representing civil society, the business community, the religious sector, the youth, national agencies and local governments—have committed their full support for Earth Hour, the global expression of a desire for serious and sustained action on global warming.

Filipinos from all walks of life and in all key cities are being urged to turn off their lights from 8:30pm to 9:30pm on March 28 as part of this worldwide movement, which last year saw the involvement of 371 cities across 35 countries.

In the Philippines, the effort is being led by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) in cooperation with the Department of Energy (DOE), the Green Army Philippines Network, and the SWITCH movement.

“We have to act now if we are to halt, if not reverse, the dangerous momentum of climate change,” explained Lory Tan, President and CEO of WWF-Philippines. “Earth Hour gives us the vehicle to show how simple acts—like turning off a light switch—can make a difference if we act together to fight global warming.”

“In this time of global crisis, it is vital that we seek causes that unite, rather than divide,” DOE Secretary Angelo T. Reyes added, “and fighting global warming through best energy practices is an excellent opportunity for all of us, regardless of creed, social status, or political affiliation to come together.”

Taking corporate involvement one step deeper, Earth Hour Philippines organizers are aligning the event with climate-friendly energy initiatives through the SWITCH movement, the social mobilization platform of multi-sector energy stakeholders spawned by the 2008 Philippine Energy Summit.

Beyond sponsoring a one-day event, potential national partners are being urged to support SWITCH initiatives over a full year. These initiatives include community-level switches to efficient lighting; cleaner transport fuels and technologies for jeepneys and tricycles; and area-based renewable energy (RE) groundwork-setting and promotion.

“By linking Earth Hour with SWITCH, we hope to make people realize that the symbolic act of switching off their lights for an hour on March 28 is but the start of a broader imperative to change our lifestyles and energy practices for the survival of our planet,” Secretary Reyes said.

"Climate change realities require a drastic change in the way we live,” declared former Miss Universe Margie Moran-Floirendo, an Earth Hour Ambassador. “For starters, we need to ask what we can do to help adapt to climate change and help slow it down.  Switching off our lights, even for an hour on March 28 is a good start because by our collective action, we will be sending a very powerful message to the rest of the world that we are taking a stand on global warming. We need to use cleaner forms of energy. Even the way we build our houses will need to change."

Earth Hour 2009 aims to reach one billion people in 1,000 cities all over the world. In December, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen to agree on a post-Kyoto policy for tackling climate change. One billion people voting with their light switch during Earth Hour will create a powerful mandate for world leaders to take strong and decisive action on climate change in Copenhagen.

To help reach this goal, a global sign-up campaign and competition is again being launched worldwide. Last year, the Philippines ranked 9th in terms of total sign-ups at the Earth Hour website www.earthhour.org.  

The Earth Hour campaign is already generating a strong online presence: every seven seconds a new mention about Earth Hour appears on the web; Earth Hour social profiles have over 230,000 friends and followers with a new connection every 20 seconds; and an Earth Hour video is viewed every 20 seconds online.

Among Earth Hour’s high-profile international advocates are Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, actress Cate Blanchett, and corporate tycoon Richard Branson of the Virgin Group.

Earth Hour Philippines 2009 hopes to involve 10 million Filipinos and 500 businesses in key cities across the country. To achieve this goal, WWF, DOE, the Green Army, and the SWITCH movement are touching base with networks and organizations across the country.

To date, the following institutions have signified their support for Earth Hour: ABS-CBN, Apostleship of the Sea, Archdiocese of Cebu, Archdiocese of Manila, Association of Foundations, Ayala Land Inc., Bank of the Philippine Islands, Body Shop, Boy Scouts of the Philippines, BusinessWorld Publishing, Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth, CBCP Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, Cemex, Center for Migrant Advocacy, Center for Overseas Workers, Chevron Geothermal Philippines Holdings Inc., ClickTheCity.com, Coalition for Bicol Development NGOs, Department of Education, Don Bosco Youth Center – Tondo, Earth Day Network, Earth Institute Asia, Inc.,  El Nido Resorts, Energy Development Corporation, Federation of Philippine Industries, Filinvest Alabang, First Gen Corporation, First Philippine Holdings, Gawad Kalinga, Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Globaltronics, Globe Telecoms, Google, Habitat for Humanity Philippines, Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, HP, HSBC, Institute for Solidarity in Asia, Intramuros Administration, Jebsen & Jessen, Klima, Knights of Columbus, Lafarge, League of Corporate Foundations, Leo Burnett, Luzon Hydro Corporation, Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, Manila Jaycees, Manila Ocean Park, Mano Amiga, Meralco, Mindanao Business Council, Mindanao Coalition of Development NGOs, Miriam College, Mother Earth Foundation, National Confederation of Cooperatives, National Council of Churches in the Philippines, National Electrification Administration, National Historical Institute, National Parks Development Committee, National Ulama Council of the Philippines, Nokia Philippines, Outdoor Advertising Association of the Philippines, Petron Corporation, Philippine Association of Building Administrators, Philippine Biosciences, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Green Building Council, Philippine Jaycees, Philippine Lighting Industry Association, Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine Sugar Millers Association,  Philippine Wood Producers Association, Philips, Pilipinas Shell Corporation, REACT Philippines, Renewable Energy Coalition, Ricoh, Shangri-la Hotels, SM Supermalls, Smart Communications, Soroptimist International, Starbucks, Sun Power, Sustainable Development Solutions for Asia and the Pacific Youth, Tetra Pak, The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS), Toyota Motors, UNESCO Club Metro Manila, UNIFEM, USAID Energy and Clean Air Project, Victory Christian Fellowship, Word and Life Publications, World Youth Alliance, YMCA, and YWCA.

Local governments have also started signing up to do their part for Earth Hour. Among the early advocates are the cities of Caloocan, Cebu, Digos, Las Piñas, Makati, Mandaluyong, Mandaue, Manila, Marikina, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Quezon, Tagaytay, Taguig, Tuguegarao, and Valenzuela; the municipality of Pateros, and the provinces of Bukidnon, Marinduque and Misamis Oriental.

How to sign up

To register your participation in Earth Hour, go to www.earthhour.org.

How to get mobile phone updates

To receive Earth Hour news updates and event schedules, register your cellphone number by sending this message to 5777 for both Smart and Globe users: green <space> reg <space> firstname <slash> middlleinitial <slash> lastname.

Example: green  reg  Juan/C/De la Cruz.

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Background Information

The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) was established in 1961by a few eminent gentlemen who were worried by what they saw happening in the world. Since then, more than 1,300 conservation projects underway in various countries, including the Philippines. Mostly focusing on local issues, these WWF-supported projects range from school nature gardens in Zambia to advocacy initiatives that appear in the packaging of commercial merchandise, from the restoration of orangutan habitats to the establishment of giant panda reserves. WWF works through multi-sector partnerships at the global and local levels.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is mandated by Republic Act 7638 to prepare, integrate, coordinate, supervise and control all plans, programs, projects and activities of the Government relative to energy exploration, development, utilization, distribution and conservation. In partnership with other energy stakeholders, it seeks to improve the quality of life of the Filipino by formulating and implementing policies and programs to ensure sustainable, stable, secure, sufficient, accessible and reasonably-priced energy. The DOE is committed to pursue national development through the two-fold agenda of attaining energy independence and implementing power market reforms.

The Green Army Philippines Network Foundation envisions a healed planet with people living in harmony with all of creation and undertakes projects, such as the Green Philippine Highways and the Trees for Life program, which manifest responsible stewardship through integrated local action for environmental protection, conservation, and restoration. A launching base for green initiatives requiring widespread social mobilization, the Green Army collaborates with government agencies, the church, the private sector, the academe, and civil society in protecting and nurturing the environment. It focuses on projects that would help communities empower themselves through their concerted action.

SWITCH is a social mobilization movement, spawned by the 2008 Philippine Energy Summit, which seeks to demonstrate how ordinary Filipinos and specific sectors of Philippine society can contribute substantively—through fundamental changes in lifestyle, behavior or standard practices—to the massive effort needed to address the dire consequences of unstable oil prices and climate change. Launched in July 2008, SWITCH is designed to: a) make energy programs of both the government and the private sector more participative for better appreciation, acceptance and involvement among key stakeholders; b) accelerate and scale up the adoption of best energy practices that are simple but strategic; and c) lay the institutional foundation to sustain best energy practices on the ground.


Earth Hour official sign-up website: www.earthhour.org
EarthHour Philippines operations center hotlines: Tel(632) 840-2134; 812-5974
EarthHour materials download website: www.earthhourphils.multiply.com, www.greeenarmynetwork.net