EARTH HOUR 2015 – EXPERIENCE THE REALITY OF CLIMATE CHANGE
Change Climate Change with Earth Hour 2015
SINGAPORE, 12 March 2015 – World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) Earth Hour takes on its biggest challenge ever in 2015 by focusing on the world’s most stubborn environmental challenge – climate change. The ninth edition of Earth Hour will roll across the globe at 8.30pm local time on Saturday, 28 March 2015. This year, Singapore’s iconic ION Orchard will descend into darkness for an hour in participation of Earth Hour 2015.
Experiencing Climate Change First-Hand
To show Singaporeans and visitors the reality of climate change, WWF Singapore launched its first-ever Climate Change Trail that transports visitors to a world affected by extreme weather conditions along world-famous Orchard Road. The Trail features three potential scenarios if we continue on this path of global warming.
“We are the culprits behind what is happening to our home. The Climate Change Trail is both a presentation of how disrupted daily life could be if we do not take care of our planet, and a reminder of how every person is critical in changing climate change,” shared Ms Elaine Tan, Chief Executive Officer, WWF Singapore.
The first extreme climate scenario is set in a Housing Development Board (HDB) flat facing an uncomfortable heat wave. Warming trends and increasing temperature extremes have already been observed across most of the Asian region over the past century and scientists predict that this will continue to increase in intensity and frequency. In addition to experiencing this heat, visitors will be confronted with a news report detailing the other effects of higher temperatures on Singapore such as rising dengue cases and haze.
The next scenario features another familiar setting; the supermarket. Climate change will bring about unfavourable and unpredictable weather conditions that will gradually reduce the production of major food crops across the world. As Singapore depends heavily on food imports, this will take a big toll on Singapore’s food security and supply. Visitors will find themselves confronted by food shortages and rising prices.
Lastly, rising sea levels and extreme rainfall episodes will see cities face the risk of intense urban flooding and the threat of diarrheal diseases, dengue fever and malaria. Visitors will enter a shelter that is fully equipped with necessities to combat the prolonged rains and intense floods.
The Climate Change Trail is located along the pedestrian path outside ION Orchard and Wisma Atria and will be opened to the public from 13 – 28 March 2015 (weekdays from 5pm – 8pm and weekends from 2pm – 9pm).
Though the possible realities are daunting, we have the power to change climate change and help our world recover. The biggest acceleration of climate change is the exponential increase in carbon emissions driven by human activities. With this in mind, WWF Singapore has come up with five simple steps that each individual can do for a #WORLDINREHAB.
- Turn your air conditioning up by 1 degree celsius
- Say no to plastic bags
- Recycle your e-waste
- Turn off your switches
- Tap2Donate to support climate change initiatives
Visitors will get the chance to immediately adopt these simple steps at the Trail by making photo pledges at the photo-wall featuring a polar bear and by using their EZ-Link card to Tap2Donate in support of WWF’s ongoing climate change efforts.
“There is no doubt that individuals are the ones with the power to make a difference. If everyone made that behavioural switch to support our five key actions, we can change climate change today,” shared Elaine Tan, Chief Executive Officer, WWF Singapore.
Leveraging on the global Earth Hour community that reaches hundreds of millions of people, WWF Singapore will also be organising its biggest crowd-funding initiative to date on Earth Hour Blue (ehour.me/watchtigers). With a target of raising US$30,000 (approximately S$40,000) to pilot satellite-enabled camera traps in key tiger habitats, this project is a unique way to change climate change. Deforestation worldwide accounts for 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, accelerating climate change. The project will monitor and protect the last 400 Sumatran tigers in Indonesia and will provide donors with rare camera trap footages direct from the forest. Healthy tiger populations are key indicators for a sustainably-managed forest, which in turn is essential to mitigating climate change. In the last 20 years a staggering 7.5 million hectares of forest – around 36% of total island cover – was cleared across Sumatra. This is the equivalent of 104 times the size of Singapore. For more information please refer to ANNEX A.
This year’s Major Sponsor for Earth Hour Singapore 2015 is IKEA Singapore, a firm supporter of the campaign since 2011. Most memorably, IKEA Singapore used Earth Hour to phase out disposable plastic bags, becoming the first retailer in Singapore to do so. This year, IKEA will donate 100% of proceeds from restaurant sales made during the one hour lights-off on March 28 to WWF Singapore in support of their climate change initiatives.
The campaign is also made possible by NTUC FairPrice as Sponsor, ION Orchard as Official Mall, StarHub as Associate Partner, Clear Channel, Gushcloud and SMRT Media as Media Partners, and valued Partners including Singapore Scouts Association and SMRT Corporation. The campaign is also supported by the National Climate Change Secretariat and National Environment Agency.
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