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Earth Hour enthusiastically observed across Pakistan

Posted on 19 March 2016

Karachi, World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) celebrated WWF’s largest symbolic environmental event, Earth Hour, across the country. In Karachi the main event was organized at Frere Hall with support of Government of Sindh, KMC, K-Electric, Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC), Qarshi, DP-World, NTL and other media partners. While, in Islamabad it was observed at Serena Hotel and in Lahore at Qarshi University, with hundreds in attendance nationwide. The event at Frere Hall included a candle lighting ceremony with celebrities, partners and guests; sky lanterns; a youth performing art show and pledges by ambassadors. Hundreds of students and educationists from across the country also vowed to ‘shine a light on climate action’.

This year’s Earth Hour ambassadors included renowned veteran actor Sajid Hassan, popular VJ and model Anoushay Ashraf, leading drama actor Hasan Ahmed, Fashion Icon Amna Kardar and famous singer Uzair Jaswal.

At 8:30 pm local time, buildings across Pakistan together with over 10,000 landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco turned off their lights. Lights remained switched off at The National Assembly of Pakistan, all Provincial Assemblies and other significant buildings across the country from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm as part of a symbolic gesture to be part of a global moment of solidarity for climate action. This year, Earth Hour was celebrated only months after 195 countries agreed a new global climate deal in December 2015, in Paris, France. As the lights were dimed in homes, offices and landmarks, the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment once again brought together millions of people to pledge their support for the conservation of the planet.

Faisal Ahmed, head of Energy Conservation at K-Electric said that we need to take a stand against climate change and contribute towards building a better future. He also shared that we are also conducting awareness programmes to inform consumers about the best practices to reduce their carbon footprint. Earth Hour is a movement about going beyond the hour and doing more. He hoped that this year Earth Hour would bring a huge success by adopting energy conservation as a regular habit.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sikandar Mandhro Minister for Environment and Coastal Development stated that Earth is facing serious climate change impacts including sea level rise, increase in temperature, melting of glaciers, heavy floods and widespread rainfalls. As time goes by, there are signs that our planet is being used beyond its capacity. If we do not act now, we will spend millions and billions of rupees in trying to recover its state. He urged that we should stand shoulder to shoulder with other countries across the globe in this movement to protect the planet from adverse impacts of climate change. ‘Earth Hour is a rallying call for all to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to change climate change’, he added.

Rab Nawaz, Senior Director - Biodiversity, WWF-Pakistan said that Pakistan is among the top ten countries affected by climate change and this environmental challenge is already severely impacting our economy. On this Earth Hour, by joining WWF millions of people around the world have shown their commitment for the planet. Switching off all unnecessary lights for one hour on Saturday, 19 March is a symbolic gesture. ‘All of us should pledge to take action in our capacity as an individual, business and policy and decision maker to reduce our footprint, save nature and protect the environment’, he added.

Asad Shahbaz Khan, Assistant Manager, Corporate Partnerships and Fundraising (CPF) department of WWF-Pakistan said that climate change is a reality and regular floods and droughts are ample proof of it. He emphasized that it is a time to pledge that we would not waste our natural treasures and work towards a sustainable future. ‘Let us adopt the habit of conserving instead of wasting our assets’, he added.

Sajid Hasan in his message said that Earth Hour is the best chance to be part of this global campaign against climate change. Pakistan is a water stressed country therefore, steps are required to ensure proper management of water resources. He also stated that taking action on climate change is not an option but a necessity for our healthy planet.

While, Anoushay Ashraf in her message said that EH is not about energy conservation only but it is more about shaping the future and making Earth a better place to live. She also shared that Earth Hour is our chance to be part of a global campaign against climate change and prove that we are a responsible nation. She also said that it is a high time to take action against climate change and may not wait for any miracle to change our planet. With Earth Hour coinciding with the T20 cricket world cup, WWF and Earth Hour teams in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka teamed up with leading cricketers to encourage people to bat for the planet and watch the match in the dark together as communities and to cheer for their favorite team and the planet by urging universal climate action from one and all.

Celebrating the tenth edition of its signature lights out event in March 2016, the Earth Hour movement continues to harness the power of its millions of supporters to shine a light on climate action and the power of the individual to change climate change. As one of the first open-sourced climate change campaigns, it has grown from a symbolic event in one city to the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment spanning over 7,000 cities and 178 countries and territories.

With Earth Hour 2016, WWF-Pakistan aimed to harness the collective power of the crowd to create the exponential impact we can achieve by putting the spotlight on climate action and the potential of individuals to change climate change. Whether it is garnering public support for renewable energy or climate-friendly policy or fostering collaboration between people across borders to tackle regional climate issues.

Famous landmarks switching off lights in Karachi included Governor House, Mazar-e-Quaid, Regent Plaza, Emerald Tower, Park Towers, Ocean Mall, PC, Marriott Hotel, FTC, MCB Towers, Habib Bank Plaza, Port Grand, ICAP, CBC Office building, KMC office building, Commissioner Office, EPA Office building and Movenpick Hotel.

WWF-Pakistan

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Media Relations at WWF-Pakistan

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pk.communications@wwf.org.pk
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