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28 Million scouts to mobilise for Earth Hour


* Community organisations around the world getting behind campaign
* Sweden to ring church bells, Sydney Ferries to sound horns
* National Education Association (US) lends support

The Scouts, the world’s largest youth movement with more than 28 million members in 160 countries, lead thousands of community groups around the world mobilising their supporters for Earth Hour, the global expression of a desire for serious and sustained action on climate change.

“It is possible for everyone to take action against global warming" said Luc Panissod, Acting Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, and James Leape, Director General of WWF International, in a joint letter to Scouting’s global network earlier this month.

What was described as “an opportunity to talk to your neighbours about the environment and climate change” is the latest expression of a partnership between the Scouts and WWF that goes back decades.

“We see that Scouts all over the world have a great interest in the environment and are leaders in their community,” said Luc Panissod. “Earth Hour offers an opportunity for Scouts to demonstrate this commitment to tackling climate change and engage with their family and friends.”

“The young are vitally concerned with the future and many are well aware that climate change is the greatest threat to the planet’s future. We are delighted that the Scouts are again working with us to secure the environment for generations to come,” said James Leape.

With more than 681 cities in 76 countries already signed up to turn their lights out on March 28, Earth Hour 2009 is shaping up as one of the greatest voluntary actions the world has ever seen.

Executive Director of Earth Hour, Mr Andy Ridley, said community groups are playing a vital role in getting more and more people from around the world engaged in the lights out campaign.

“Earth Hour is driven by citizens and grassroots groups thinking globally and acting locally. No matter how big or small your organisation, I urge you to get involved in Earth Hour and really make a difference in your community and in the world,” Mr Ridley said.

Among other community groups working to ensure the largest possible participation in Earth Hour is the Church of Sweden, which will ring its bells across the country to signal the start of Earth Hour at 8.30pm on March 28.

Sydney Ferries, which has been an enthusiastic supporter of Earth Hour since 2007, will this year be sounding the horns of all its ferries operating on Sydney Harbour, heralding Earth Hour in the city where the campaign first began.

In the United States the National Education Association, representing 3.2 million teachers and education professionals, has also pledged its support for Earth Hour, as has the 1.4 million-strong American Federation of Teachers.


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