WWF Cymru: It’s Wales’ year to shine for Earth Hour
Hundreds of thousands of people in Wales are expected to turn out the lights for an hour from 8:30PM on Saturday (29 March) as part of the world’s biggest celebration of the planet.
Around the world, millions are expected to join the event as major landmarks including the Empire State Building, Brandenburg Gate and The Kremlin go dark.
This year it coincides with the Welsh Government’s ‘National Conversation’ on the country’s future as it prepares to introduce the Future Generations Bill. WWF Cymru hopes the law will help safeguard the planet for future generations and tackle big challenges such as climate change and threats to forests and oceans.
WWF Cymru has also launched the ‘Welsh Wish’ website for people to choose a wish for a sustainable future, share it with friends, and join an online ‘galaxy of stars’. The initiative has won support of members of the Wales rugby squad and actor Michael Sheen. On the night, organisers are encouraging Earth Hour supporters in Wales to share their photos and videos via Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtags #earthhour and #welshwish
In a poll of Welsh adults conducted by Beaufort Research for WWF’s Earth Hour, 68% of people agreed that ‘Welsh Government should take responsibility for making policy changes that will protect the planet for future generations’, with just 11% disagreeing .
Anne Meikle, Head of WWF Cymru said:
“Earth Hour shines brightly in Wales - it’s a fantastic reminder that we need to protect our wonderful planet for future generations. We estimate around half a million adults in Wales took part last year and today’s poll shows that most people share our hope of our country playing its part in a brighter future.
“This year’s Earth Hour is a special one for Wales as we hold a National Conversation of the future of our nation and prepare for a new Future Generations law – the first of its kind in the UK. If everyone in the world lived as we do in Wales, we’d need more than two planets to support us. But we now have a great opportunity to change and become a sustainable ‘one planet nation’.
“I hope people across Wales will join the global movement and switch off their lights for Earth Hour on Saturday. Wales has a great story to share with the world this year – Earth Hour 2014 is our chance to shine.”
Minister for Natural Resources and Food Alun Davies, who is sponsoring the event, said:
“I am proud that the Welsh Government is supporting Earth Hour for the fifth consecutive year. This annual event is an important reminder that we can all do fairly small things to help to take better care of the world’s natural resource and reduce the effects of climate change. Switching off unnecessary lights and unplugging appliances that are not in use may seem like minor things but collectively this sort of action really can make a big difference.”
Communities & Tackling Poverty Minister Jeff Cuthbert who is responsible for the Future Generations Bill said:
“Our unique Bill is all about our generation taking responsibility for improving the well-being of Wales and providing a sustainable Wales for decades to come. Earth Hour is a great symbol of our shared responsibility for the world we live in and how we can all take action to protect it for future generations.”
As well as being a symbol of support for the planet, around the world Earth Hour is driving action on the ground – from the creation of an Earth Hour forest in Uganda to the Australian campaign to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Meanwhile WWF-Philippines is helping fishing communities build resilience to climate change, after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan.
In 2013, Earth Hour was a huge success in Wales. Major landmarks including Wales Millennium Centre and the Senedd went dark and over 200 Welsh schools, half of Welsh councils and Assembly Members from all parties gave their support.
Other Welsh Earth Hour highlights this year include:
- The creation of a large #welshwish LED candle image outside the Senedd, Cardiff Bay, as the lights go out
- Other iconic landmarks going dark including Caernarfon castle, The National Library of Wales (Aberystwyth) and Newport’s Transporter Bridge
- Welsh Government switching off the lights at many of its offices across the country
- A ‘pledge tree’ to help the environment and creative recycling exhibits at Techniquest
- Support from schools across the country – in Llangewydd Junior School in Bridgend pupils have written wishes for a more sustainable future on stars
- People across Wales are planning fun activities at home including candlelit suppers, playing board games and stargazing
- Welsh comedian Dan Mitchell has created a video of ’60 things not to do in the dark’
- Poems by Caryl Parry Jones and Eurig Salisbury
- Support from Welsh businesses including Ikea, St David’s Hotel and Hilton Newport
- Photos and interviews available on request
- Poll conducted by Beaufort Research Ltd. The majority of fieldwork for the November 2013 survey took place between 15th and 26th November 2013, with the remainder the following week. A total of 1,022 interviews were completed and analysed.
- Estimate based on figure of 10.1 million adults in the UK who took part in Earth Hour in 2013 – source: NFP Synergy 2013 (nationally representative sample of 1,010 adults 16+ in the UK).
- For more information on Earth Hour and to see a map of events and supporters in Wales and the rest of the UK, visit the Earth Hour page
- WWF Cymru is sharing highlights of Earth Hour in Wales on its Storify blog
- Dan Mitchell’s video ’60 things not to do in the dark’
- WWF is one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive. Find out more about our work, past and present on the World Wildlife Fund website.
Elin-Hâf 01970 632534 or firstname.lastname@example.org