Earth Hour: Open letter to Kerry Prendergast and Ray Ahipene-Mercer

I have just sent the following through to Kerry Prendergast (Mayor) and Ray Ahipene-Mercer (Portfolio Leader: Climate Change + my local councillor) - I will keep you informed of any progress and if it's nothing in a weeks time I will send it again to all the councillors.

Of course, don't hold back on emailing them yourselves to ask them to support Wellington and Earth Hour!

[Updated 10-Jan-2008: 2:37pm]
Auto-response (I suspect) from PA as Kerry is on hols - stuck the response after the email.

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To: kerry.prendergast@wcc.govt.nz, ray.ahipene-mercer@wcc.govt.nz
Date:
Jan 10, 2008 2:27 PM
Subject:
Is Wellington going to be part of the Earth Hour 2008 alongside Sydney, Chicago, Copenhagen and many other cities?

As a Wellington citizen (Miramar) I believe the Wellington City Council should actively participate in and promote this year's Earth Hour environmental event at 8pm, Saturday March 29th (details: http://www.earthhour.org and all around the world).

Can you confirm whether the Council has any such plans and if not how they can generate participation for the 2008 event?


In a nutshell the environmental event details are:

It started with a question: How can we inspire people to take action on climate change?

The answer: Ask the people of Sydney to turn off their lights for one hour.

On 31 March 2007, 2.2 million people and 2100 Sydney businesses turned off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour. This massive collective effort reduced Sydney's energy consumption by 10.2% for one hour, which is the equivalent effect of taking 48,000 cars off the road for one hour.

With Sydney icons like the Harbour Bridge and Opera House turning their lights off, and unique events such as weddings by candlelight, the world took notice. Inspired by the collective effort of millions of Sydneysiders, many major global cities are joining Earth Hour in 2008, turning a symbolic event into a global movement.

Source: http://www.earthhour.org/about


This event is both an excellent way of sharing environmental information with the public (as per the Council's stated long term environmental out-come, pg156 of the LTCP) and generating national and international media coverage for the city.

Of course, Wellington would be the first to reach 8pm and would be able to capitalise on this and the view from across Oriental Parade as the lights of the CBD and surrounding hills were turned off would make for a dramatic news item any where in the world.

Other cities that have signed up (as of December 14, 2007)
  • Aalborg, Denmark
  • Aarhus, Denmark
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Chicago, USA
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Manila, Philippines
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Odense, Denmark
  • Suva, Fiji
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Toronto, Canada
Source: http://www.earthhour.org/news/major-cities-around-the-world-join-wwf-in-fighting-climate-change-during-earth-hour-2008/

I am not affiliated with the event at all (apart from turning our lights, computer and everything else electrical off at 8pm on 29th March :-)
Contact details for the event are:
  • Andy Ridley, Executive Director, Earth Hour +61 415 865 992
  • Leslie Aun, Vice President, Public Relations, WWF-US, +1 703 517 4550
  • Rachael Hoy, WWF-Australia, +61 2 8202 1242 / +61 415 643 165
  • Kath Eggleston, WWF-Australia, +61 2 8202 1294 / +61 408 408 562

Thanks for taking the time to read this email and I look forward to being in the dark, but only for one hour one particular day!

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[Updated 10-Jan-2008: 2:37pm]

Dear Mike

On behalf of the Mayor, Kerry Prendergast, thank you for your email.

The Mayor is out of the office until the 24 January, however I will ensure your message is passed on.

Yours sincerely

Kim Jansen
Receptionist/Secretary to the Mayor's Office

DD: 04 XXX XXXX
MOB: XXX XXX XXX
FAX: 04 XXX XXXXX

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