Earth Hour is quickly approaching - on Saturday, March 28th at 8:30 pm, millions of Canadians will turn out their lights to support the largest global public demonstration on climate change! What are you doing that night?
Turn off your lights on Saturday March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm!
Over 160 Canadian cities have committed to participate in Earth Hour and citizens in more than 50 countries across the globe will turn off their lights on March 28th in support of action on climate change.
But don’t stop at turning off the lights. Think about what else can be done to reduce your footprint like taking transit, unplugging unused electrical appliances and washing your clothes in cold water. The list is endless and your action will make a big difference.
In order to make Earth Hour more than a symbolic event, it is important people understand that we each have a role to play in the fight against climate change. Our everyday actions, like turning off unnecessary lights, individually add up to make a big difference. Individual action also is important because it sends a strong signal to business and government that Canadians want action.
Looking Beyond Kyoto
The world is up against a deadline to stop dangerous climate change. In 2012, the Kyoto Accord, the most significant international agreement to control greenhouse gas emissions, will expire. In December, 2009, world leaders, including Canada’s Prime Minister, will meet in Copenhagen to try and come to a new agreement which extends past Kyoto. It is important to start this process now because it will take 2-3 years for ratification, and to ensure a seamless transition.
Scientists are showing that climate change is happening even faster than we thought. These global negotiations represent one of the last opportunities for responsible governments to put the brakes on spiralling temperature increases and protect the Earth’s weather systems and ecosystems, communities and livelihoods from irreversible harm.
Climate change is a global problem that requires global cooperation. Our nations’ leaders must work together to achieve a fair, effective, science-based treaty in Copenhagen. We must dramatically cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 25-40% by 2020 and at least by 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.
This is the ‘hour of truth’ for the planet. By participating in Earth Hour, you are demonstrating to the world’s leaders that you want to see them take immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Unions Making a Difference
Unions are implementing energy efficiency measures, green education campaigns, and being part of environmental initiatives in their communities. The National Union has produced a variety of educational documents about climate change:
- Keeping Our Cool
- Confronting Climate Change: A Just Transition to Green Jobs
- Get our governments to go green now: Top 5 ways to get government to confront the climate crisis
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE