Earth Hour

Earth Hour

April 07, 2009 05:00 ET

WWF-Canada: Over Half of All Canadians Turn Off for Earth Hour in Support of Action on Climate Change

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 7, 2009) - A new poll commissioned by WWF-Canada shows that more than half of all adult Canadians (52%) participated in WWF's Earth Hour on March 28, creating an unprecedented call to action on climate change in advance of the UN negotiations in Copenhagen in December. The main reasons people turned off their lights were to show support for action on climate change and express a commitment to take personal action for the environment.

Globally, almost 4,000 cities in 88 countries participated in Earth Hour, far exceeding WWF's global goal of 1,000 cities. Canada was again among the leading countries in the campaign in terms both cities participating (more than 280 nationally) and for participation per capita.

The poll results also show that Canadian concern for climate change extends far beyond participating in Earth Hour. Eighty per cent of Canadians believe that Earth Hour is sending a message to the federal government that now is the time to start taking climate change seriously and develop a plan to reduce emissions.

More than half of all Canadians used their light switch to vote for action on climate change," said Gerald Butts, President and CEO, WWF-Canada. "That's a landslide. Clearly, Canadians want to see our government take a leading role in finding a solution. This is a critical year for climate change, as our Prime Minister will be meeting with other world leaders in Copenhagen in December to negotiate a new global deal on climate change. This may be our last best chance to avoid the worst effects of climate change."

As lights dimmed around the world, WWF hopes world leaders take this as a signal that the world needs a fair, effective, science-based global treaty to replace Kyoto when it expires in 2012. In Canada, seventy per cent of those polled felt Earth Hour is making a major difference by putting g pressure on world leaders to improve the environment.

To help people take action for the planet every day, WWF-Canada launched a program called The Good Life at wwf.ca. The Good Life is designed to help Canadians take personal action to help fight climate change, and see the positive impact of their actions by tallying the total greenhouse gas emissions saved personally, provincially and nationally.

The national survey was conducted by the Environics Research Group on behalf of WWF-Canada. The survey was conducted online with a representative sample of 1,002 Canadians aged 18 plus, from March 31 to April 2, 2009. The final sample was statistically weighted according to the most recent Census, based on education level, age, gender and region.

Notes to the Editor:

- Photos and images from Earth Hour available at www.earthhour.org/mediacentre

- For information about the energy drop in your community, contact your local energy provider or WWF-Canada.

About Earth Hour

Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities were invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm to show their support for action on climate change. The event began in Sydney in 2007, and has since grown into a global movement with a goal of reaching one billion people in 1,000 cities in 2009. In Canada, Sears Canada, CBC, and Coca Cola Ltd. (Coca-Cola in Canada) are the official sponsors. EarthHourCanada.org

About WWF

WWF-Canada is part of WWF - the global conservation organization. Founded in 1967, WWF-Canada has become one of the country's leading conservation organizations, enjoying the active support of more than 100,000 Canadians. WWF-Canada works to save nature by conserving species and protecting their habitats; by ensuring our use of natural resources is sustainable, and by helping individuals, companies and governments reduce pollution. For more information, visit wwf.ca.

Contact Information

  • WWF-Canada
    Tara Wood
    Manager, Public Relations and Earth Hour Canada
    416-484-7710 or cell: 416-407-0775