Feb 18: The Road to Copenhagen

Earth Hour is sending a message to the world's leaders that effective action at Copenhagen is needed. But what exactly is happening in Copenhagen?

In short, the heads of over 180 countries are meeting in December in Copenhagen, Denmark for the United Nations Climate Change Conference to create an agreement to drive and guide the international effort to stop global warming.

WWF research has shown that this is likely to be the last chance we have to get our approach to climate change right before the danger threshold of a 2°C rise.

"The latest science confirms that we are now seeing devastating consequences of warming that were not expected to hit for decades," says Kim Carstensen, WWF Global Climate Initiative leader. "The early meltdown of ice in the Arctic and Greenland may soon prompt further dangerous climate feedbacks accelerating warming faster and stronger than forecast.

Responsible politicians cannot dare to waste another second on delaying tactics in the face of these urgent warnings from nature."

The goal is to agree on a new global climate deal to replace the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012.

While personal efforts are incredibly important - check out the WWF footprint calculator to get an idea of how important! - regulatory efforts are also important.

The Earth Hour campaign seeks to connect the importance of personal effort to the campaign for regulatory reform. WWF-Australia CEO Greg Bourne notes "Earth Hour 2009 will provide a strong visual mandate, a vote from people around the world to say 'we must deal with climate change,' a vote which we hope to channel to the world's leaders at the Copenhagen conference."

"At this meeting, governments around the world must make a strong commitment to reducing the world's greenhouse gas emissions - to avert the current course we are on towards climate crisis.

"By switching off lights and non-essential power between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on March 28, people the world over will be showing the world's leaders the public strongly supports decisive action."

So show you care about climate change and support positive action in Copenhagen. Encourage your friends, family and neighbours to turn their lights out for Earth Hour!

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