WWF-Pakistan and Punjab Government sign pledge to commemorate Earth Hour 2016
Lahore, WWF-Pakistan and the Government of Punjab held a pledge signing ceremony today at the Punjab Assembly to demonstrate their mutual support for action on climate change and take strong steps towards a low-carbon, sustainable future. On behalf of the Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan, Speaker Punjab Assembly, Government of Punjab; Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan, Minister for Education, Sports and Tourism, Government of Punjab; and AhmerYar Malik, Managing Director (MD) Tourism pledged to join WWF’s international Earth Hour campaign to take action on tackling climate change and to show they care about the future of our planet, ahead of the global lights-out event, due to take place on Saturday March 19 from 8:30pm to 9:30pm.
During the pledge signing ceremony Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General WWF-Pakistan, said, “We are thrilled that members of the provincial assembly of Punjab are supporting Earth Hour this year and we hope that they will inspire others to get involved.” Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan, Speaker Punjab Assembly, pledged to put an end to the usage of plastic bags, “That’s why this Earth Hour I’m showing I care about the future of our country by making a special pledge for a low-carbon future.” Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan pledged to plant more trees and to observe Earth Hour in its true spirit. He also said that he will appeal to people at large in his own capacity to switch off lights voluntarily as a responsible citizen of the world.
AhmerYar Malik, MD Tourism Punjab, took pride in announcing that due to their efforts they have created an Eco Tourism Hub from KallarKahar to Soan Valley. “The picturesque Soan Valley in Khushab district of Central Punjab attracts a lot of tourists to its beautiful lakes, waterfalls, forests, natural springs, hills, the endangered Punjab urial, migratory birds in winters and preserved architectural sites,” said Muhammad Tanveer. “I pledge to promote eco-tourism further this year,” he added.
Every year Earth Hour inspires millions of people around the world to come together and switch off their lights for one hour in a symbolic act to show they care about the planet. Last year a record-breaking 172 countries and some of the world’s most Iconic buildings switched off their lights. This year the campaign’s theme is change climate change.
The Earth Hour movement has grown from a symbolic lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 to the world’s largest voluntary campaign, mobilising people in all seven continents. Initiated by WWF-Australia in order to sensitise people on the issue of climate change, Earth Hour was first organised on March 31, 2007 in Sydney at 7:30 pm, local time.
The year 2016 marks the tenth lights out event since Earth Hour’s debut. In the past nine years, WWF and Earth Hour teams around the world have harnessed the power of the movement to raise support and funds for access to renewable energy, protection of wildlife and their habitats, building sustainable livelihoods and driving climate-friendly legislation and policy.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt worldwide. Last year was the hottest year on record. It was also the year countries came together to work against climate change at the historic summit in Paris. Nineteen of the 20 hottest years on record occurred in the past two decades. Pakistanis is one of the top ten countries most affected by climate change, although contributing very little to global carbon emissions. It is already being affected by deeper, more persistent droughts, pounded by more severe weather and floods, inundated by bigger storm surges.
Rising temperatures can lead to more smog, longer allergy seasons, and an increased incidence of extreme-weather-related injuries, all of which imperil public health, particularly for vulnerable populations. No corner of the planet and no sector of the global economy will remain unaffected by climate change in the years ahead. With the world at a climate crossroads, Earth Hour 2016 is our time to shine a light on climate action and build the foundation for a better future for our planet and future generations.
Media Relations at WWF-Pakistan+92 42 111 993 725