Earth Hour sparks global unity

Posted on 10 December 2008
Earth Hour
© Earth Hour
71 cities in 62 countries including Kyiv and Odessa in Ukraine have committed to switch off for WWF’s Earth Hour in 2009. The campaign, which hopes to reach out to more than one billion people in 1,000 cities around the world, asks individuals, businesses and governments to switch off lights for just one hour on Saturday March 28 at 20:30 to create a platform of support for action on climate change.

Earth Hour aims to demonstrate unprecedented solidarity and provide a visual global mandate that will put the heat on world leaders meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009 to strike a new global deal on climate change.

The lights out initiative, which began in Sydney in 2007 as a public awareness raising campaign, has grown significantly over the past two years and now has 71 cities ready to flick the switch in 2009. Cities already committed include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Rome, Manila, Oslo, Cape Town, Warsaw, Lisbon, Singapore, Istanbul, Mexico City, Toronto, Dubai and Copenhagen.

At 20:30 on Saturday March 28, the world will witness some of the most recognisable landmarks on the planet dim the lights in support of decisive action on climate change. Icons switching off include England’s National Football Museum, the world’s tallest hotel building in Dubai – the Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest tower - the CN Tower in Toronto and in Rome – Quirinale, the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano.

Auckland’s Sky Tower – the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere will go dark, joined by Australia’s iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House and across in Cape Town, South Africa, the iconic Table Mountain will mark Earth Hour by turning off its flood lights.

Director General of WWF International Jim Leape said, “When leaders gather in Copenhagen in December 2009 to negotiate a new deal on climate they must feel that the eyes of the world are upon them.”

“Earth Hour provides an opportunity for the public to send a powerful signal that they are watching and expect action,” said Mr Leape.

Executive Director of Earth Hour Global, Mr Andy Ridley said, “Recent events have shown that the world can unite in a time of crisis. The global economic crunch is an example where, when it matters, decisive multi-lateral action by powerful nations has been shown to be achievable.”

Mr Ridley also said 2009 was the planet’s ‘destiny year’, with critical decisions needed to be made at the Copenhagen meeting on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“2009 is the year we decide the future of the earth. It is the year the world finally agrees on a plan to massively reduce carbon emissions across the globe. This is the time to invest in new ways of doing business in a new low carbon economy. We must all step over the line together. The sum of our actions today can change history and secure the future of our planet.”

The extensive WWF conservation network also has more than 30 teams working in countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine, Brazil, Greece, India, Peru, Spain, Switzerland and France, ready to support a local Earth Hour roll out.

Click here to see the Earth Hour video

Andreas Beckmann, Deputy Director, WWF-DCP, M: + 43 676 84 27 28 -216

Earth Hour
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Lighting candles under Harbour Bridge
© Jamie Williams Photography Enlarge

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