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Earth Hour made dent in power use

First Posted 21:29:00 03/31/2008

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MANILA, Philippines -- Conservationists hailed ?Earth Hour,? which saw hundreds of government, private and residential establishments turn off their lights from 8 to 9 p.m. last Saturday as an ?overwhelming success.?

?The response we got was nothing short of amazing,? said Yeb Sao, head of the Climate Change and Energy Programme of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in the Philippines, which co-sponsored the global event with the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change led by Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes and the Green Army.

According to data from the Philippine Electricity Market Corp., power consumption dropped by about 16 megawatts in Metro Manila, and up to 56 MW in Luzon.

The governments of Quezon City, Manila, Pasay, Paraaque, Caloocan and Makati, as well as nongovernment organizations and private businesses also took part in the activity.

?Filipinos truly showed the world that we can unite and stand together against climate change,? said Sao.

Earth Hour was a global 60-minute blackout to highlight the need to reduce greenhouse gases that are contributing to climate change.

?This occasion is more than just a symbolic gesture on climate change. It will serve to bring the issue of global warming to the forefront by conveying the message that global warming is inevitable and Filipinos have to do more by simply practicing energy conservation and efficiency in their homes and workplaces,?? Reyes said.

According to WWF-Philippines, Earth Hour in Australia saw 2.2 million people and 2,100 businesses in Sydney turning off their lights for an hour.

This reduced the city?s energy consumption by 10.2 percent for that particular hour, which was equivalent to taking 48,000 cars off the road for an hour. Jocelyn R. Uy and Abigail L. Ho

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