UniCredit Turns Off the Lights for Earth Hour 2015
This Saturday, March 28, 2015, UniCredit will take part in the WWF's worldwide Earth Hour event by turning off the lights in more than 80 of our Group's most prominent buildings in a coordinated call for action against climate change.
This is the eighth year that UniCredit is participating in Earth Hour, underscoring our commitment to environmental sustainability. We will switch off the lights for one hour at UniCredit buildings in 13 countries: Italy, Germany, Austria, Serbia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Earth Hour engages citizens all over the world with a series of special initiatives designed to stress the urgency of changing our consumption habits. Climate change is the most severe crisis the world now faces, as it increasingly and dramatically threatens ecosystems, species and the lives of millions of people.
Ahead of the 2015 climate conference in Paris, we can be moderately optimistic for the first time in many years. Last year the U.S. and China, the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, agreed on a plan to reduce their respective emissions. This agreement demonstrates that policy makers understand the warnings of the most recent assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which stated that the "warming of the climate system is unequivocal" and the "human influence on the climate system is clear."
But it is also clear that a greater response is needed against threats to our environment. Speaking of potential action, Todd Stern, the U.S. envoy at last December's climate conference in Lima, said, "It is going to have to be a solution that leaves a lot of fossil fuel assets in the ground."
While many may believe that such a solution would be unfeasible, others say we cannot afford to wait any longer. A recent discussion paper by the Bank of England stated: "Fundamental changes in the environment could affect economic and financial stability and the safety and soundness of financial firms, with clear potential implications for central banks."
We participate in Earth Hour to highlight UniCredit's commitment to addressing climate change and promoting sustainable development. Our hope is that all colleagues will contribute however they can on Saturday to safeguarding our natural capital for future generations.
At home and in our daily lives, small behavioral changes can have an enormous impact when carried out on a large scale. These include switching off the lights and electronic devices when not needed, replacing old light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones, only using the washing machine at full load, recycling whenever possible, consuming local and seasonal products, and always favoring public transport.