Assembly Members make a wish for the planet’s future

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Welsh Assembly members from all four parties have made a wish for a sustainable future for Wales as part of WWF’s Earth Hour – the world’s biggest celebration of the planet.

The global 60 minute ‘lights out’ celebration, which began in Samoa and finished in Tahiti, swept around the world with a record breaking 158 countries and  over 7,000 towns and cities taking part. Iconic landmarks worldwide included: Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House; The Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower.

In Wales around half a million people are expected to have taken part in Earth Hour this year [3], celebrating with candlelit dinners, stargazing, music and quizzes. Participating Welsh landmarks included Caernarfon Castle, The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth and Newport Transporter Bridge.

Eighteen AMs joined WWF Cymru’s reception in the Senedd, ahead of Earth Hour itself which took place at 8:30PM on Saturday night.

Each chose a ‘wish’ for a sustainable Wales relating to thriving forests, healthy seas or a safe climate – in support of WWF Cymru’s ‘Welsh Wish’ campaign for a ‘one planet Wales’ which uses its fair share of the earth’s resources. The AMs shared their wishes on the Welsh Wish website www.wwf.org.uk/welshwish , where they joined the online ‘galaxy of stars’ supporting a sustainable Wales for Earth Hour.

On the day of Earth Hour, WWF Cymru was celebrating having over 1000 wishes on the Welsh Wish site. The initiative has won support of members of the Wales rugby squad and actor Michael Sheen.

This year’s Earth Hour coincided with the Welsh Government’s ‘National Conversation’ on the country’s future as it prepares to introduce the Future Generations Bill. WWF Cymru hopes the law will help safeguard the planet for future generations and tackle big challenges such as climate change and threats to forests and oceans.

In a poll of Welsh adults conducted by Beaufort Research [4] for WWF’s Earth Hour, 68% of people agreed that ‘Welsh Government should take responsibility for making policy changes that will protect the planet for future generations’, with just 11% disagreeing .

Jessica McQuade, Policy and Advocacy Officer at WWF Cymru said:

“We’re grateful to all the AMs who’ve supported Earth Hour and Welsh Wish this year. It’s incredibly important that we remind ourselves of the need to protect our brilliant planet – and that we in Wales can play our part.

“If everyone in the world lived as we do in Wales, we’d need more than two planets to support us. But we now have a great opportunity to change and become a sustainable ‘one planet nation’.”

    Other Earth hour highlights in Wales included:

  • The creation of a large #welshwish LED candle image outside the Senedd, Cardiff Bay, as the lights went out
  • Support from schools across the country – in Llangewydd Junior School in Bridgend pupils have written wishes for a more sustainable future on stars
  • Welsh comedian Dan Mitchell has created a video of ’60 things not to do in the dark’
  • Poems by Caryl Parry Jones and Eurig Salisbury
  • Support from Welsh businesses including Ikea, St David’s Hotel and Hilton Newport

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Editor’s notes

  1. You can download high resolution images from our photocall with AMs, plus images and video of Earth Hour in Wales, via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/p3fqq5chel7uucu/wIw4GEbmS1
  2. The Assembly Members who attended WWF Cymru’s Earth Hour event in the Senedd were:
  3. Name Party Constituency / Region
    Peter Black Liberal Democrats South Wales West
    Alun Davies Labour Blaenau Gwent
    Keith Davies Labour Llanelli
    Paul Davies Conservative Preseli Pembrokeshire
    Suzy Davies Conservative South Wales West
    Rebecca Evans Labour Mid and West Wales
    Russell George Conservative Montgomeryshire
    Llyr Huws Gruffydd Plaid Cymru North Wales
    Alun Ffred Jones Plaid Cymru Arfon
    David Melding Conservative South Wales Central
    Julie Morgan Labour Cardiff North
    Eluned Parrott Liberal Democrat South Wales Central
    Nick Ramsey Conservative Monmouth
    Aled Roberts Liberal Democrat North Wales
    Rhodri Glyn Thomas Plaid Cymru Carmarthen East and Dinefwr
    Joyce Watson Labour Mid and West Wales
    Lindsay Whittle Plaid Cymru South Wales East
    Leanne Wood Plaid Cymru South Wales Central

     

  4. Estimate based on figure of 10.1 million adults in the UK who took part in Earth Hour in 2013 – source: NFP Synergy 2013 (nationally representative sample of 1,010 adults 16+ in the UK).
  5. Poll conducted by Beaufort Research Ltd. The majority of fieldwork for the November 2013 survey took place between 15th and 26th November 2013, with the remainder the following week.  A total of 1,022 interviews were completed and analysed.
  6. WWF is one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive.  Find out more about our work, past and present at wwf.org.uk.

For further information, please contact:
Richard Nosworthy, tel: 029 20454972, email: rnosworthy@wwf.org.uk