Those wanting to focus attention on climate change will switch off their lights worldwide for one hour on Saturday, March 28th, 2015, from 20:30 to 21:30 during participants’ local time. The idea being that Earth Hour supporters are contributing to real climate change solutions to combat what many scientists say is our planet’s greatest environmental challenge.
This year is set to be a record-breaking Earth Hour celebration with 172 nations and territories confirming that they will take part, including countries on the climate frontlines such as Madagascar, the Maldives, and the Philippines, as well as key actors such as the US, China, the European Union, and Brazil.
Earth Hour, which is organized by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), was famously started as a lights-off event in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Since then it has ballooned into the world’s biggest grassroots movement for the environment, raising public awareness and action on climate in over seven thousand cities across the planet.
Earth Hour is today the world’s biggest grassroots movement for the environment. (Image Source: Earth Hour)
From Australia to Cambodia, Cameroon, UK to Colombia, offices, homes, skylines and monuments will go dark as the world shows solidarity and calls for collective action to ‘change climate change’.
In London, Buckingham Palace, the Royal Albert Hall, and the Gherkin will switch their lights off for 60 minutes, as will the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The Empire State Building says its lighting will be reduced to “a faint sparkle in honor of Earth hour” on March 28.
According to the WWF, nearly forty UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Edinburgh Castle in Scotland and the Acropolis in Athens will go dark.
Chair of the Board of Directors, Earth Hour Global, Sudhanshu Sarronwala, said:
“As Earth Hour continues to break records for global participation, our supporters continue to reach new heights for energy and creativity in using their power to make a difference.”
“Every light switch turned off, every signature collected and every project funded, gives us renewed hope that together we can change climate change.”
Impact of Earth Hour
Even before Earth Hour falls on the twenty-four time zones on Saturday, WWF claims its teams are already using the movement’s impact to drive concrete action and solutions on climate change.
The WWF wrote:
“From collecting 100,000 signatures to urge a ban on the exploration of Arctic oil in Russia to reducing people’s dependency on firewood and forests by building sustainable livelihoods in Uganda, Earth Hour is empowering people to be a part of a global movement to take climate action.”
“In past months, Earth Hour supporters have also used their power on the Earth Hour crowdfunding platform to help build community climate resilience in India, Indonesia, Colombia and Portugal. WWF teams are also building on Earth Hour’s potential to inspire action from individuals, businesses and governments by advocating climate-friendly policy and legislation on themes such as access to renewable energy and reforestation.”
The lights at famous landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, will be switched off for one hour. (Image: Health Hour)
Mr. Sarronwala said Earth Hour demonstrates what we as humans can achieve together. “From creating a forest in Uganda to lighting up entire villages with solar power in India and the Philippines, the power of the crowd to make change happen is phenomenal. With Earth Hour, every light switch turned off is hope for climate action turned on,” he said.
Action required to combat climate change means more than just switching off lights across the planet for one hour – measures must be taken throughout the year, WWF says.
“As Earth Hour brings temporary darkness to many of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, WWF hopes to shed permanent light on the power each individual has to change climate change,” WWF says.
You can see how events are happening near you at Earth Hour Tracker – you can even create your own Earth Hour activity.
Video – Earth Hour 2015