YOUR AM WRITES: Blaenau Gwent AM Alun Davies
EVERY year some of Wales’ iconic landmarks join businesses, communities and homes across the country as they switch off to mark WWF’s Earth Hour.
The Wales Millennium Centre, the Hilton Hotel, The Millennium Stadium, the Senedd and St David’s Hotel joined landmarks in 25 different time zones by switching off their lights, creating a ripple around the world.
The symbolic campaign was launched in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, and in 2012 saw a record ‘switch-off’ journey across more than 6,525 cities, towns and municipalities in 150 countries and territories.
It was a “simple yet powerful way” to show how everyone can play their part.
During last year’s event ESA Astronaut Andre Kuipers used Twitter to share photos of areas under threat as seen from the International Space Station.
This year Earth Hour is predicted to increase to 152 countries, all seven continents, and more than 7,000 cities and towns to take part.
As one of only three countries in the world with a statutory duty relating to sustainable development, embedding sustainable principles into the work of the Welsh Government is challenging.
I was delighted to sponsor WWF Cymru’s 2012 Earth Summit (Rio+20) event at the Assembly.
Entitled ‘Wales’ contribution to global sustainable development’.
I’m as confident today as I was then that we can help raise awareness of the threat posed by climate change.
Last year’s non-show at Rio+20 by the UK government PM sent out warning signs that sustainable development is not a priority for the UK among environment groups.
The Welsh Government will continue leading the charge internationally on many environmental issues.
The previous Earth Summits in Rio and Johannesburg had a big influence on Wales. They changed our way of thinking and made people much more aware of the need to look after our planet.
Already we are setting the pace in Wales for environmentally friendly and sustainable regeneration.
Here in Blaenau Gwent I am proud to use The Works project at the former steelworks in Ebbw Vale as a ‘model of sustainability’. I would like to wish this year’s Earth Hour every success, and will leave you with the words of Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, who tweeted: “Let us stand together to make of our world a sustainable source for our future as humanity on this planet”
WWF’s Earth Hour 2013 will take place on Saturday, March 23, at 8.30pm. For more information on how you can get involved, please visit: Facebook, Twitter and www.earthhour.wwf.org.uk