2.8 MILLION PEOPLE IN HONG KONG TAKE ACTION FOR EARTH HOUR
WWF-Hong Kong has released the results of its recent Earth Hour 2012 Survey. The survey, conducted by TNS, shows that 2.8 million people in Hong Kong participated in the year’s “lights off” event, marking Earth Hour’s continued success in conveying the importance of sustainable living to the public.
This is the fourth year that WWF has organised Earth Hour in Hong Kong. This year, WWF called on individuals to not only turn off their lights for one hour, but to set their energy saving targets and work towards living sustainably.
According to the survey, a majority of participants showed commitment to sustainable living beyond the hour. In fact, all Earth Hour participants pledged to take future action toward a more sustainable living, with 77% saying they would turn off lights when not in use, 64% would replace old light bulbs and 61% would turn off appliances when not being used (please refer to Appendix for full survey results). In addition, two thirds of the survey respondents said Earth Hour influenced them into setting an energy saving target and committing to sustainable living.
Dr William Yu, WWF-Hong Kong's Head of Climate Programme said: "Earth Hour is not about energy saving for one particular hour: it is about understanding that small changes in our everyday lives can collectively make an impact. The participation of over 2.8 million Hong Kong people in the lights-out event, and their commitment to go beyond the hour, is an incredibly encouraging message we are willing and ready to commit to sustainable living. WWF is taking this commitment one step further by asking the new government to set an energy saving target for Hong Kong as a whole.”
Time Lapse Video of the Hong Kong skyline during Earth Hour 2012
According to data provided by both CLP and HK Electric, electricity consumption in Hong Kong dropped by 4.27% during Earth Hour on Saturday 31 March 2012. This drop in electricity consumption is equivalent to saving 146 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which would require 6,348 trees to absorb in one year.
“We need related policies to help Hong Kong individuals and the business sector to reinforce their sustainable living commitment. WWF is encouraging the upcoming government to release a holistic and comprehensive climate and energy strategy, which includes implementing greater energy efficiency measures and setting emissions target for the city,” added Dr Yu. “The UK was the first nation to pass a binding Climate Change Act. Mexico is another excellent example as the Mexican Senate has recently passed its first comprehensive climate change law, which commits the country to cut its emission by 50% by 2050 with international support.”
The Earth Hour online survey was conducted by TNS after Earth Hour on 31 March 2012, and interviewed 1,000 people aged 18 to 64 across Hong Kong. 57% of the respondents who were aware of Earth Hour said they participated in Earth Hour 2012. About 29% said they had considered participating in Earth Hour but they were not able to make it due to various reasons, such as not being at home.
This year saw impressive participation of Hong Kong people in the annual lights-out event. Hong Kong joined hundreds of millions of people in over 6,500 cities and towns across 150 countries and regions in committing to a sustainable future. In Hong Kong, over 3,300 companies and buildings, all universities and over 340 secondary and primary schools pledged to join the global event.
To help Hong Kong people to go beyond the hour, WWF offers a range of activities and programmes, including the “ I Will If You Will” Celebrity Challenge, “ I Will If You Will” Energy Saving Challenge, Climateers programme and the Low-carbon Office Operation Programme (LOOP) to help the general public and commercial sector continue practising sustainable living every day.
Standard Chartered Hong Kong 150th Anniversary Community Foundation has also been the lead sponsor for three consecutive years and fully supported the various promotional activities of Earth Hour in Hong Kong.