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Climate Change News

Nations large and small join climate change campaign
20 Mar 2010

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THEY range from the vulnerable, like low-lying Bangladesh, to the vast, such as the US; from the familiar - England, New Zealand - to the more obscure, such as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Many are old hands, like Australia; some are first-timers, including Kosovo and Mongolia.

What unites such a disparate group is concern about climate change. They have all signed on to participate in Earth Hour next Saturday.

Now in its fourth year, Earth Hour has become a big international event. Already 107 countries have signed up, involving millions of participants.

The Earth Hour message now goes beyond the gesture of turning out the lights for an hour. The wildlife preservation group WWF, which created the event in Sydney in 2007, encouraging people to change daily habits, said WWF-Australia's chief executive, Greg Bourne.

''We want people to make a resolution to do something this year to reduce the size of their footprint,'' he said. ''This could be as simple as using more public transport, sourcing locally produced food, reducing the amount of packaging and waste in your home, or switching to renewable energy.''

One of the smaller countries signed up is Brunei Darussalam - population: about 400,000. Its Earth Hour organiser, Mohd Rimey Hj Osman, has been using Facebook, Twitter, radio and television to spread the word, and visiting private and public offices.

''The government has released a memo to request all government entities and employees to partake in the Earth Hour campaign, and the same for private companies,'' he said. ''We would like to show that Brunei Darussalam is a country that cares about climate change. We sign up not as a country but as citizens of the planet.''

Brunei's Earth Hour would focus on the capital's historic centre and its water village, where about 10 per cent of the population lived in buildings on stilts above the Brunei River, he said.

''And we will have 10 minutes' silence upon the lights off, for the people to reflect and experience the sense of darkness and tranquillity.''


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Source: Sidney Morning Herald