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Earth Hour – Lighting the way for change
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Earth Hour – Lighting the way for change

What is Earth Hour?

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) created Earth Hour, a movement seeking to shed a light on climate change. In 2007, the world’s first Earth Hour took place in Sydney, Australia—thousands uniting and turning off their lights, a symbolic gesture demonstrating people care about climate change. Today, the movement has grown and spans all continents. With climate records continuing to be broken, now more than ever communities are uniting to show their support and to advocate for change. This year, Earth Hour is being held on March 30th, at 8:30 p.m.

Why it’s important:

Climate change is a global issue with widespread repercussions. Earth Hour lets world leaders know people care about the issue and want to see policies change. Though it started as a single-city event, today cities across the world hold events to show their support–each city fighting for the climate-related causes most affecting them. From promoting sustainable business practices to supporting policy changes calling for renewable energy, communities worldwide want to see change. Earth Hour helps raise their voices above the noise.

Some Facts about Earth Hour over the years:

  • More than 170 countries participated
  • More than 400 iconic landmarks switched off
  • More than 6600 Earth Hour events were created
  • More than 1.2 million individual actions were taken
  • 7 countries were aiming for policy change
You can read more about Earth Hour on the Earth Hour website and blog.

What you can do:

Taking part is easy! Grab your candles, pull out a deck of cards and turn out the lights. Earth Hour at its core seeks to highlight how much electricity we use—so power off as much as possible and spend some quality time with family and friends. What else? Join the Earth Hour event on Facebook. Find Earth Hour events near you, or create one of your own!

The Paris Agreement – What does it really mean for Canada? 
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The Paris Agreement – What does it really mean for Canada? 

[caption id="attachment_22697" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Stephen Hazell Stephen Hazell
Director of Conservation
and General Counsel[/caption] The Paris Agreement signed Saturday by virtually all the countries of the world is truly a major success.  Congratulations to Prime Minister Trudeau and Environment Minister McKenna for playing such a constructive role in the negotiations. But let’s also thank Louise Comeau, Steven Guilbeault, Elizabeth May and the many other environmentalists who kept hope alive--pushing for an international agreement despite 10 years of obstructionism from the previous government. The Agreement commits governments to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C. A fund of at least $100 billion to finance climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in developing countries is established. Governments are called upon to conserve and enhance sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases (such as forests and grasslands).Image of caribou Implementing the Paris Agreement is a huge challenge for Canada let alone less-developed countries. In effect, implementation means that fossil fuel production would be phased out globally in the coming decades and replaced by renewable energy sources and much more efficient use of all energy supplies. So for Canada, one question is: should any new oil, natural gas, or coal infrastructure (e.g., mines, pipelines, tanker terminals)  be approved for what are in essence sunset industries?  If Canada is serious about meeting its commitments under the Paris Agreement, shouldn’t the billions of dollars needed to build the proposed Northern Gateway, Trans Mountain and Energy East projects be redirected to financing low-carbon renewable energy projects and to improving the energy efficiency of our homes, industries and vehicles?  Shouldn’t the pro-fossil fuel regulatory boards such as the National Energy Board and the offshore boards be replaced by boards with a low-carbon mandate? Shouldn’t all subsidies and export development financing to the fossil fuel industry be cancelled?  The benefits to nature of avoiding the negative impacts of fossil fuel megaprojects would be enormous. Finally, shouldn’t all government be making every effort to protect and grow forests and grasslands, which we know are critically important sinks for greenhouse gas emissions—as well as for wildlife and nature? Email Signup

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