On Saturday March 24 2018, UniCredit will take part in the WWF's global event Earth Hour, switching off the lights of its most prominent buildings in a joint effort to combat climate change.
UniCredit will participate in Earth Hour for the eleventh consecutive year, underscoring its commitment to fighting climate change by switching off the lights of its most prominent buildings in 11 countries: Italy, Austria, Germany, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Slovakia.
Earth Hour involves citizens from all over the world in a number of special initiatives designed to emphasize the urgency to change our consumer habits. Climate change is the greatest challenge the world currently faces, representing a dire threat to ecosystems, species and to the life of millions of people.
Two years since the Paris UN Climate Conference, we can be moderately optimistic about the impacts generated by the historical Paris Agreement in the long term. In these two years we have witnessed two important developments: the Financial Stability Board issued recommendations on climate related financial disclosure and, more recently, the European Commission released its Action Plan on Sustainable Finance, building on the recommendations previously issued by the High Level Expert Group it had specifically appointed.
The Paris Agreement aims at holding the increase in the global mean temperature at well below 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century and making every possible effort to limit it to 1.5 degrees, and at the same time also foster resilience to climate changes already underway. It is an extremely challenging ambition, as is proven by the fact that commitments taken so far by parties to the Agreement are below what is necessary. However, the task is achievable by meeting the requirements of the Agreement's third pillar which calls for the mobilization of of necessary additional financial resources, which within the European Union is some €180 bn per annum until 2030.
In this respect, our participation in Earth Hour shows UniCredit's commitment to tackling climate change and to promoting sustainable development. We hope that this Saturday every colleague will contribute as best they can to protecting natural capital for future generations.
At home and in daily life, small changes in behavior can have a huge impact if made on a large scale. Examples include switching off lights and electronic equipment when not in use, replacing lightbulbs with more efficient new generation models, using washing machines only when fully loaded, reusing and recycling when possible, consuming locally grown and seasonal produce, and opting for public transport.