Vancouver’s city council is considering going dark in order to shine a light on greenhouse gas emissions.
As early as the next week, Vancouver could join the growing ranks of cities taking part in the Earth Hour Challenge, a one-hour lights-off campaign on March 29 to raise awareness about energy conservation.
"The most important thing is the message it sends to your neighbours and other Canadians," said Ian Bruce, a climate change specialist with the David Suzuki Foundation.
"You’re sending a message that it’s important to take strong action to reduce global warming."
On Tuesday, NPA Coun. Peter Ladner brought up the Earth Hour Challenge in council. Later, COPE Coun. David Cadman introduced a motion, calling for the city’s participation.
Cadman also proposed that people put their standby electronics — like TVs and computers — on powerbars that can be switched off when not in use, reducing energy usage by 12 per cent.
The motion, however, was deferred until Mayor Sam Sullivan could gather information on the Earth Hour Challenge in Toronto.
Sullivan said he wants to pursue the challenge and added there was a chance the motion could be back as early as next council meeting.
Cadman said any delay would hurt the city’s chances of participating.
"We’ve lost the crucial time factor in making this able to go forward in a timely fashion and get people plugged into it," Cadman said.
Ladner said Earth Hour was a "fantastic idea," and a way to get people involved in an important issue. But, he added, the city’s involvement still needed to be clarified.
B.C. Hydro spokeswoman Gillian Robinson Riddell said the province imports 10 to 15 per cent of its energy and encouraged people to take part in Earth Hour despite whether or not it was endorsed by the city.