Thursday, 26 March 2009

Earth Hour: Hyderabad lags behinds in nature campaign

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 26: Hyderabad is lagging behind other metros in the
country in observing Earth Hour on March 28.

Earth Hour is a global initiative by the World Wildlife Fund to express
support for action on climate change. Those participating in the Earth Hour
will switch off lights for 60 minutes on March 28 between 8.30 pm and 9.30
pm.

"We are not doing any major event in Hyderabad, though some organisations
like Sunsoft, Wipro and Microsoft have pledged support. ICICI too is
participating, but its ATMs will function," WWF India spokesperson Aarti
Khosla told this correspondent.

Though PVR Cinema is part of the campaign, its Hyderabad unit will not
switch off the lights. It will continue with its usual screenings. Prasad's Imax
too is not participating in the WWF event. Imax spokesperson Chris Kishan
said "last year we participated in the event. But this time we are not too
keen".

ITC Kakatiya will celebrate the Earth Hour by organising a candle light
dinner from 7:30 pm to 11 pm. It also plans a candle light campaign by its
employees.

Even NGOs associated with environment campaigns are staying away. The
WWF has, however drawn up mega awareness plans in Bengaluru, Mumbai
and Delhi where its activists will spring out telling people about the need to
extend support to the fight against climate change.

"We are laying emphasis on the awareness part rather than on the quantum of
energy saved because of the switching off of lights for one hour. However,
emergency lighting, televisions and computers can stay on for the hour. The
main point of Earth Hour is to unite people, companies and governments
around the world through the symbolic flip of a switch," said Aarti.

The WWF's emphasis only on awareness is said to be one of the reasons for
NGOs and environmental groups for keeping away from the campaign. "Just
switching off power supply for one hour will not make any difference. There
should be equity distribution of energy. The rich consume more power while
the poor do not. Same is the case with rich and poor countries. Equity
distribution of energy means reduction in energy consumption. Unless we
achieve it, the mission will not turn out to be successful," said senior
environmental engineer and author Sagar Dhara.

The Earth Hour was launched on March 31, 2007 at a climate change
initiative held in Sydney, Australia. According to WWF, this March 28 one
billion people spread over 1000 cities will participate in the Earth Hour.
According to WWF, it aims at securing a new global climate treaty that will
sharply reduce emissions and ensure global average temperatures are kept
from rising beyond the dangerous threshold of 2 degrees Celsius.

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