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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   1 March 2012

Vietnam launches 2012 Earth Hour campaign

HA NOI — Viet Nam officially launched the 2012 Earth Hour campaign yesterday, calling for every organisation, individual, family and business to take action to save energy and protect the environment.

The event, "You and I – Together we act" sponsored by Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) and Tan A Dai Thanh Group, will take place at the August Revolutionary Square in Ha Noi from 8:30pm to 9:30pm local time on March 31 with the attendance of State leaders, Ha Noi authorities and the public.

Earth Hour will take place in 135 nations and territories with the expected participation of about 1.8 billion people. They will join in the fight against climate change by taking actions such as turning off lights and electrical equipment for one hour.

Speaking at the press conference held yesterday, Deputy General Director Nguyen Tan Loc said EVN was actively co-operating with suppliers to install 70,000 solar water tanks by 2015, contributing VND1 million (US$45) per tank.

A valuation by the United Nations Development Fund showed that Viet Nam was in the world's top 5 countries most vulnerable to climate change. If the sea levels increase by one metre, Viet Nam would loss 5 per cent of land area, lose 7 per cent of agriculture output and 10 per cent of GDP.

Experts also calculated that if 3-5 percent of power was saved annually, the local power sector could save about $50 million, which could be used to build a new power supply network.

The campaign's ambassadors include Danish Ambassador to Viet Nam John Nielsen, Miss Friendly Duong Thuy Linh and singers Thanh Lam and Tung Duong.

Ambassador John Nielsen said with its strong focus on greater energy efficiency and the construction of renewable energy resources, Denmark had consolidated an energy development endeavour that respected the environment and was capable of sustaining strong economic and social growth.

Denmark supported Viet Nam's steps in the same direction.

"We are supporting Viet Nam in a number of ways within climate change and energy efficiency, including sustainable support of the Government's programme on energy efficiency and the new national target programme on climate change," the ambassador said in a statement.

Earth Hour is a global event annually organised by the WWF, asking people to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.

During Earth Hour last year, Viet Nam saved 400,000kWh in one hour, equal to about VND500 million (at average electric price of 2011 was VND1,242 per kWh)

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