David Templeman

David Templeman

Minister for the Environment; Climate Change; Peel

    Switch off for a brighter future

    16/03/2008 12:00 AM

    “For once, it will be the people in the dark who are acutely aware of what is going on, and will be the ones doing something about it,” Environment and Climate Change Minister David Templeman said today.


    Announcing the Western Australian Government’s support for Earth Hour 2008, Mr Templeman said the initiative was a great way for Western Australians to play their part in reducing the impact of global warming by cutting back on individual and collective carbon footprints.


    Earth Hour, which will be held on March 29, involves switching off non-essential lights for an hour.


    The Minister said Earth Hour was effective in demonstrating how mass support for a simple change could have a big impact on greenhouse gas emissions.


    “When Earth Hour first started in Sydney last year, people concerned about global warming wanted to do something to inspire people to take action on climate change,” he said.


    “It was decided that switching off Sydney’s lights for an hour would be easy and would make a dramatic statement.


    “The aim was to reduce energy consumption by about five per cent but the big switch-off actually resulted in a reduction of more than 10 per cent.  This is roughly the equivalent of taking 48,000 cars off the road for a year.


    “This year, Earth Hour has become a global movement and Perth will be playing its part.  Individuals, businesses, local and State Government departments are working together to make it a success and to use this highly symbolic event to initiate long-term changes to effect on-going reductions in emissions.


    “In keeping with the State Government’s Act Now for the Future initiative, all Government agencies and employees are encouraged to participate in Earth Hour. The minimum commitment is to switch off all unnecessary lights between 8pm and 9pm on Saturday, March 29.”


    To date, more than 30 cities around the world have signed up to take part and many iconic structures will be plunged into darkness including the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Chicago’s Sears Tower and Coca Cola headquarters in Atlanta.


    In WA, the Department of Environment and Conservation is promoting the initiative through its DECrease our footprint program, which is working to reduce the environmental impact of DEC work practices in its workplaces and activities across the State.


    Mr Templeman said Earth Hour was an opportunity to show how individual efforts could make a difference.


    “I encourage everyone in WA to be a part of the growing band of businesses and individuals who are helping to safeguard our future and that of our children by taking actions which collectively will turn the tide on global warming,” he said.


    Minister's office - 9220 5050