Earth Hour: World Conservation Federation initiative highlights climate issues
As the fifteenth annual Earth Hour keeps energy use top of mind, a new report suggests Manitoba’s green future can be achieved with hard work.
An initiative of the World Wildlife Federation, Earth Hour performs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. local time around the world.
People are asked to turn off their lights and discuss climate change for an hour.
“Well, after I get home tonight, we’ll probably light a candle and read a book or do something like that. I just have to make sure to turn off the lights,” said Matthew Guidry, the one of many Winnipeggers participating. in Earth Hour.
In Winnipeg, buildings such as City Hall and the Manitoba Legislative Building participate.
“We all have a role to play in raising awareness and protecting our environment in order to build a better future for our planet and for generations to come,” said Minister of Environment, Climate and Parks, Jeff Wharton, in a press release.
According to a recent study by Climate Change Connection, there is still a long way to go.
“We need to improve the efficiency of almost every building in this province by 65%, and we need to connect all of our buildings to geothermal energy and connect a whole bunch of solar panels,” said Curt Hull, the report’s author.
According to Hull, about 70% of the province’s electricity for heating and transportation currently comes from fossil fuels.
The good news, however, is that Hull thinks it’s possible for the province to go completely green by diversifying the power grid.
“We think we need a state-owned company to undertake a massive undertaking of building ‘deep energy retrofits’, and that will include geothermal in a district heating scenario,” he said.
The study suggests that to become net neutral within decades, systemic change must start happening now.
“Realize this is an emergency and it will take a massive effort from government, from business, from everyone in terms of the changes needed,” Hull said.
Change what events like Earth Hour help bring.
“There’s a lot going on right now. The world is kinda on fire. I feel like it’s better if you just take some time to reflect and think about how we can make a little difference,” Guidry said. “I think energy conservation is a good idea.”