2013 Earth Hour unites community of people worldwide on the issue of climate change

Posted on 24 March 2013    
Pupils from Currie Community High School laid out candles on Edinburgh Castle Esplanade to show their support of WWF's Earth Hour
© Maverick Photo Agency

WWF’s Earth Hour completed another record-breaking sweep around the planet on 23 March 2013, boosted this year by many examples of groups using this opportunity to mobilise conservation action beyond the hour.

Earth Hour 2013 was observed in more than 7,000 cities, towns, and municipalities in more than 150 countries and territories. Many of the world’s best known human and natural landmarks went dark including the Kremlin in Russia for the first time.

Launched seven years ago to enable people around the world to highlight the threat posed to the natural world by climate change and create a global call to action to prevent climate catastrophe, Earth Hour is the world’s largest public environment campaign.  For one hour, people the world-over were encouraged to switch off non-essential lighting – drawing them together and forging  communities centered on realizing a sustainable future for our planet.

Since then, Earth Hour has evolved to inspire individuals to adopt sustainability as their watchword, and conserve resources in the face of environmental changes and global resource scarcity.

Earth Hour 2013 brought people together from all backgrounds to join and create amazing “beyond the hour” events to share what the planet means to them and what they are willing to do to protect it.

Earth Hour CEO and Co-Founder, Andy Ridley, noted that in Earth Hour 2013 people were increasingly involved in the event and taking self-directed action toward spreading the message and being the change, adding that “Earth Hour is maturing from its origins as a consciousness raising event in one city, to a global movement that is not just calling for change but is engaging in it.”

Examples of this global movement and the Earth Hour inspired successes include legislative success against marine oil pollution in Russia, Russian supporters gaining over 100,000 signatures on a new petition calling for forest protection, and Earth Hour partners in Madagascar gifting 1,000 wood-saving stoves to cyclone victims. Other unique events, included villages in India without electricity being lit up with solar energy for the first time and Libyans taking part in an 80-kilometre walk.

Countries across the world have used Earth Hour as a tool to engage children in environmental issues, with distinct success in Taiwan, Indonesia, and Thailand. Beyond direct education, this year’s event was marked by public concerts aimed at youth as a platform to share their passion for the environment – including concerts in major metropolitan areas in Libya, Nepal, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Jamaica.

WWF-Singapore’s “One Degree Up” initiative for the I Will If You Will campaign has given people a tangible and simple way to help reduce the country’s energy consumption and a dancefloor completely powered by kinetic energy generated enough power for an outdoor cinema against the celebrated backdrop of Marina Bay.

Canadian Astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield tweeted images from space in celebration of Earth Hour with his unique perspective of seeing cities and natural wonders from above.

Earth Hour is becoming an action-oriented, global community empowered with modern communications tools and united in a mission to create a more sustainable future for our shared planet.

 Posted on March 24 2013; Updated April 29 2013

Pupils from Currie Community High School laid out candles on Edinburgh Castle Esplanade to show their support of WWF's Earth Hour
© Maverick Photo Agency Enlarge
The Eiffel Tower glitters after the switch off
© Nina Munn / WWF Enlarge
Moscow's Kremlin switched off for the first time
© Evgeniy Litovko WWF Russia Enlarge

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