Earth Hour is a global movement organized by WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) every year. It encourages businesses, communities and individuals to turn off their lights for an hour to save energy for a greener planet. The motive behind the Earth Hour movement is to raise voice and increase awareness about climate change and global warming.
Normally sunlight enters the Earth’s atmosphere, warms it and gets radiated back into the space. But due to Greenhouse effect, the heat which was supposed to go back in space gets absorbed by greenhouse gas particles. A layer of GHG (Greenhouse Gases) formed from carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) combine with water vapor to making a thermal blanket for the Earth, which leads to Global Warming.
Among all the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide accounts for a mammoth 77 per cent according to IPCC. The major reasons for greenhouse gas emissions include deforestation, decay of biomass and combustion of fossil fuels (which alone contributes 57 per cent of the total GHG emissions).
Save Energy to Reduce GHG
Electricity produced by burning of coal, natural gas and oil generated 26 per cent of the GHG emissions in 2004. According to International Energy Agency (IEA), carbon dioxide emissions stood at 32.3 billion tonnes in 2014.
Saving and reducing the consumption of energy is not the need of only Earth Hour but every hour. Here is why:
• Saving Energy will help in slowing down natural resource depletion, reduce GHG emissions, help in slowing down climate change, ozone layer depletion which all adds to Global Warming. It will also help reduce the impact on rainfall’s seasonal trends which is affecting the irrigation and agriculture.
• Reducing GHG emissions can help avoid up to 3 million premature deaths by 2100. Lesser consumption of energy (electricity) means lesser burning of fossil fuels. Reducing GHG emissions by 2 per cent per year will amount to 7000 pound of lesser carbon emissions per person. A tonne in reduction of carbon dioxide emission is valued at $50 to $380 as per standard cost benefit analysis. Apart from improving the environment, quality of life and economy, energy saving will also save a lot of money.
• Reduce fossil fuel and energy consumption will lower threats caused by climate change and global warming. Today nations on low lying islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans are facing the risk of getting flooded by rising sea levels due to global warming. Decreasing GHG emissions will enable us to save population from the wrath of environmental hazards caused by climate change and global warming.
To reduce the threat of global warming to the human race and achieve a greener future it is time we give serious thought to consuming less energy and think about how our daily activities affect the environment. This Earth Hour let us take a pledge to minimize energy usage for a better future for our forthcoming generations.