Earth Hour pleads for PM Turnbull to switch towards a clean energy future

By Shubhda Khanna Nag ·

As Australians get set to show the world their commitment towards positive climate action this Saturday for the annual Earth Hour event, Earth Hour organisers are still urging Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, to extend his support to the cause.

The global movement for protecting the environment started right here in Sydney 10 years ago, and this year, Earth Hour Australia has been running a campaign to get the PM involved and show he’s committed to a clean energy future.  

As part of the campaign, Parliament House has been surrounded with ads, all bearing the question, ‘Dear Mr Turnbull, will you switch off for Earth Hour?’ The campaign even has a dedicated hashtag #IllBeWatching as well as its own website to encourage the Prime Minister to show his involvement by tweeting a picture of his lights switched off for Earth Hour.

“We’re calling on the Prime Minister to send a clear message to every Australian on Earth Hour night that he is committed to action on climate change and cares about our environment, our children and our future,” said Samantha Webb, Earth Hour National Manager.

To date the Prime Minister hasn’t indicated whether he will be switching his lights off.

With a federal election likely in 2016, this is a good opportunity for movements like Earth Hour to keep the momentum on climate change going and ensure it stays on the government's agenda.

Dermot O’Gorman, CEO, WWF-Australia, has said the momentum for climate action already exists and is growing everyday in households, businesses and communities across Australia and the world.

“The PM’s plan must include stronger pollution reduction targets and long-term milestones to achieve the Paris agreement’s 1.5 degree reduction goal. This includes getting rid of fossil fuel subsidies to instead invest in the transition to 100% renewable electricity.

“All we are asking for is the simple flick of a switch on Earth Hour night Prime Minister. All eyes will be on you to show us that you care,” he said.

Earth Hour will roll out across the world on Saturday at 8.30pm local time, bringing together individuals, communities and people in 178 countries and territories who will turn off non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the environment. More than 350 major landmarks across the world including the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building, will support the movement and  switch off their lights.  

How to join the Earth Hour movement and shine a light on climate change

If you’re itching to do your bit for the environment, here’s how you can contribute to a sustainable future:

  • Sign up: You can log into the Earth Hour website and pledge your support by uploading a picture of you or your organisation to show you'll be switching off for Earth Hour
  • Chip in: You can contribute to help get Earth Hour’s message to the Prime Minister
  • Save energy at home: Make your home a sustainable space by making eco-friendly tweaks around the house  
  • Teach the kids: Help your kids protect the planet by giving them some fun energy saving lessons
  • Switch to renewable energy: Support Australia’s renewable energy sector by switching to a green power plan for your home
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