Apr 02, 2009
Friends of the Earth activists in Australia did more than just switch off their lights for Earth Hour this year.
By occupying Hazelwood Power Station near Melbourne, the activists sent a clear message to state and federal governments: 'Switch off Coal and Switch on Renewables'.
Hazelwood is the most polluting power station in the industrialised world, emitting an astonishing 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. The forty-year-old power station is responsible for over 5% of Australia’s total carbon emissions and, by shutting down Hazelwood, the Australian government would instantly meet their 5% emission reduction target.
"Governments are happy to provide token support for climate change by switching off their lights for an hour, once a year, but if they are serious on climate change it's clear Hazelwood needs to be decommissioned this year," said FoE Australia climate campaigner, Louise Morris.
"This Earth Hour we need to acknowledge it is time to do so much more than just switch off our lights for an hour. We need to switch off our reliance on dirty coal and switch onto job rich renewable energy sources."
Hundreds of millions of people 'voted earth' on 28th March by switching off their lights for one hour. The event took place across 25 time zones in over 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries and represented the world’s largest demonstration of public concern about climate change.