In its tenth year, Earth Hour 2016 is a call for governments, organizations and people to move from discourse and discussion to concrete climate action. Earth Hour 2016 will be celebrated on Saturday, 19 March from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m, local time. In India, the focus of the campaign this year is on the potential of solar energy as a viable and renewable source of power. Earth Hour is calling on citizens across the country to support not only the campaign by switching off non-essential lights for the hour, but also the government’s pledge to move toward renewable energy for a sustainable future. Blessed with approximately 300 clear sunny days, India has a capacity to harness 5,000 trillion kWh of energy per year – a lot more than the country’s total annual energy requirement. WWF-India’s Earth Hour campaign advocates a solar-powered future by urging its supporters to “go solar.
The campaign is being endorsed this year by cricketer Shikhar Dhawan. Speaking about his association with the cause, Dhawan said, “I believe climate change is the biggest global problem that we face today. It is a problem that we need to solve together. Like cricket, Earth Hour brings people together. I would urge people to come together and find newer, smarter ways to help save the planet.” He also asked cricket fans all over the country to switch off all other non-essential lights for the hour and watch the historic India Pakistan T20 ICC World Cup match scheduled for 19 March in the dark and said, “As we chase our dream of becoming World Champions again, we are counting on you to help us realize our dream of a greener planet! Let’s stand together against climate change.”
From bicycling clubs to toddlers, the residents of Delhi NCR enthusiastically took to the track to promote the cause of Earth Hour and ask people to switch off their lights during the hour later that night. Pedal for the Planet 2016 is also being supported by Firefox Bikes, who are providing cycles for the event.
Mr. Anuj Mathur, Chief Executive Officer, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance said, “We at Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance are fully committed towards the cause and pledge our support for Earth Hour in Pedal/ Paidal for the Planet initiative by partnering with WWF-India for the 8th consecutive year. We have always encouraged our employees to pledge to use resources responsibly and continue to identify ways in which we can reduce carbon footprint for a greener planet. As a life insurance company, it is essential that we further the cause of urging people to lead a healthy life style. We therefore encourage all to adopt these measures in their daily life so that we leave a better planet for future generations”.
Speaking about the campaign and the event, Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF-India said, “Every year, since 2009, hundreds of citizens of Delhi NCR have been gathering in an enormous show of support for Earth Hour at the Pedal for the Planet cyclothon. Pedal for the Planet is a WWF-India initiative with the objective of raising awareness about Earth Hour. It also helps promote a healthier, greener and more sustainable lifestyle at an individual and collective level. The event is a step towards encouraging positive climate action in all forms.”