KUWAIT: INSPIRED AND INSPIRING OTHERS
Inspired by the first Earth Hour in Sydney, in 2008 a group of engineering students at Kuwait University aspired to spread awareness about global warming and to take action on climate change. Living in an oil-producing country is a great economic privilege, however, it raises important concerns about the amounts of carbon emissions.
Therefore, the Kuwaiti Team for Global Warming was established to encourage the people of Kuwait to embrace environmental change in order to balance the effects of oil production. Their aim was to organise Earth Hour in Kuwait and to motivate the people of Kuwait to engage in this global contribution of reducing carbon emissions.
In 2009, the team properly introduced the idea of Earth Hour to the public by organising an event in a public area overlying Kuwait Towers. The significance of reducing electricity consumption for only an hour was explained by the team members to authorised individuals of the main landmarks of Kuwait - these include Kuwait Towers, Liberation Tower, The Scientific Center as well as over twenty-six malls, embassies, hotels, companies and professional associations. Several non-profit organisations and societies participated in the event to educate people about other environmental aspects and the importance of volunteer work.
The team’s work is not only exclusive to organising Earth Hour, they also believe in the concept of reducing carbon emissions beyond the hour. The team contributes towards educating the youth about global warming and climate change by giving lectures and seminars at schools and universities. Furthermore, the members of the team engage in various environmental exhibitions and conferences as well as beach clean-ups. The Kuwaiti Team for Global Warming has also inspired organisations to adopt the idea of Earth Hour and has supported its application in the State of Kuwait during Environmental Day, which took place on February 27th 2012, naming it the Environmental Hour.
The team’s hard work has meant that there has been increased participation in the following years and now as a result, their efforts have been recognised by the Kuwait Voluntary Work Centre, which adopted the team to work under their umbrella.