Mar 16: Western Australia switches off for Earth Hour

Homes and businesses throughout Western Australia have been urged to turn their lights off for one hour as part of a global climate change initiative aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

The City of Cockburn has signed up to participate and will ensure all Council buildings lights are off and urges all community members to commit to reducing their carbon foot print by getting involved between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on March 28 for Earth Hour.

Mayor Logan K Howlett urges the Cockburn community to join the City of Cockburn and switch off all unnecessary lights and electrical equipment during Earth Hour.

"It's up to each and every one of us to make changes to prevent global warming and conserve the Earth," Mayor Howlett said.

The WWF-led event is part of a worldwide campaign to encourage individuals, businesses, communities and governments to take simple steps to combat climate change.

The conservation organisation is calling on Western Australian families to support Earth Hour by hosting local celebrations, such as candlelight dinners, barbeques and street parties.

"We must increase our efforts in addressing climate change and the time to act is now. Reducing the world's emissions is a shared responsibility. Each city needs to commit to reducing its carbon output and every single person has a role to play," WWF-Australia spokesperson Helen Pitman said.

The impacts of climate change are already visible today in Western Australia. The drought that started in 2001, which has lead to urban water shortages, a big fall in farm productivity, the drying of wetlands and the effect on our native species are examples of the existing impacts of climate change on Western Australia.

"We need ongoing and broad community support to make a real difference to the problem of global warming and to protect our precious natural resources," Ms Pitman said.

2008 was the first year that Perth participated in Earth Hour and the city achieved some impressive results with an estimated 48% of Perth residents taking part.

Ms Pitman has challenged other Western Australian towns and cities to do even better in 2009 and show the world how serious they are about being environmentally responsible.

"Earth Hour is not a one-off event," she said. "Hopefully, it is something that will encourage people to be more conscious about the use of energy on a daily basis."

The City of Cockburn is now one of 25 WA Councils taking part in the Earth Hour climate change campaign this year.

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