Earth Hour super heroes join forces to protect the planet
Now in its eighth year, the global movement organized by WWF is expected to be celebrated in over 160 countries and territories. By the simple act of turning off the lights, people around the world are recognizing the challenges that face our planet.
“Tonight, Earth Hour will be celebrated by every continent,” said Andy Ridley, CEO and co-founder of Earth Hour. “People in every corner of the world will be reaching across boundaries of culture, politics, race and religion to acknowledge the power we all have when we come together for this incredible planet.”
Spider-Man gave extra support to this year’s Earth Hour by swinging into the global flagship event hosted by WWF-Singapore. With Spider-Man’s help, WWF is sending the message that each of us possesses the super human power to make positive change.
Spider-Man’s support comes as Earth Hour shifts from a one-hour event to an everyday movement supporting activities that go beyond the hour. The movement will now focus on achieving critical environmental outcomes in vulnerable parts of the world including the Great Barrier Reef, the Arctic and the Amazon Rainforest.
"When the lights go off, let's remember Earth Hour is far more than an hour. There is a far bigger impact than the one hour event. We are here to celebrate that we all commit to going 'beyond the hour' in living greener lives," said Dr. Marco Lambertini, WWF International Director General-designate.
The focus on outcomes is inspired by previous Earth Hour successes. Much more than just turning out the lights, Earth Hour advocacy has led to legislation in Russia to protect seas from oil pollution, the creation of a marine protected area in Argentina, and the world’s first Earth Hour Forest in Uganda to fight against massive deforestation.
“Earth Hour and lights off is a powerful reminder that we can help to deliver the solutions towards creating a more sustainable future for the planet,” said Ridley
With the launching of Earth Hour Blue, a new crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the planet, people are also being asked to use their power to back a project or add their voice to solution-based environmental projects. Current projects include an effort to build climate-smart boats for fisherman affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, and support for indigenous communities in Colombia to help them live sustainably while preventing deforestation in the Amazon.
In Nepal, Earth Hour celebrations at Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath Temple are being joined with an Earth Hour Blue crowdfunding project to provide clean biogas energy to villages in Nepal’s Terai Arc. The project is being supported by Spider-Man himself, Andrew Garfield, who plays the superhero character in the upcoming film “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”
"Let’s remember throughout the year ahead what we have come here to celebrate – that each of us has the power to make a real difference in the world. Each of us can be a superhero for the planet," added Lambertini.
Other activities sparked by Earth Hour include a project by WWF-Nepal to work with 500,000 people to lead environmental change through its Generation Green Campaign. After the lights come back on at New Delhi’s India Gate, WWF-India will go beyond the hour for children by supporting an education campaign for 15,000 schools across India to switch to more energy efficient practices.
The global sweep of major Earth Hour events began in New Zealand. As Earth Hour makes its way across the globe, Turkey’s Sultan Ahmed Mosque — also known as the Blue Mosque — will turn off its lights for the first time. Many of the world’s most recognizable landmarks will join WWF in raising the world’s consciousness of global environmental issues by also turning out their lights when the clock hits 8:30 pm local time. Earth Hour will officially close on the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia.
People are encouraged to use their power by backing a project or add their voice at www.earthhour.org and sharing their #EarthHour activities on Instagram.