Millions unite to light the way on climate change | WWF South Africa

Millions unite to light the way on climate change



Posted on 30 March 2015
More than just turning out the lights, the ninth edition of Earth Hour was about people around the world sending a clear message that climate action is a political priority.
© Jeremiah Armstrong / WWF-Canada
From Antarctica to the International Space Station, WWF's Earth Hour brought the world closer together on Saturday by mobilising millions to highlight the need for climate action. In a year of record participation, individuals, businesses, city skylines and landmarks in 172 countries and territories switched off their lights to participate in the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment.
 
Beginning with the first lights out event in Samoa and then moving across seven continents to Tahiti, the past 24 hours inspired unprecedented unity from people around the world committed to use their power to change climate change.

Over 1,400 landmarks switched off the lights this Saturday including the Empire State Building and the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Hong Kong’s iconic skyline. Close to 40 UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Table Mountain in Cape Town, the Acropolis in Athens, the walled city of Baku, the Cologne Cathedral and the Galapagos Islands also participated.

While the world’s most iconic landmarks went dark this weekend, Earth Hour powered collective action to address local climate issues well beyond the hour.

As South Africa turned lights off, citizens around the country switched on their power for change by joining the movement on wwf.org.za/earthhour to show their support for action on climate change.

In Malaysia, citizens attended the first-ever Earth Hour 2015 carnival in Petaling Jaya and answered the call to come out in large numbers to show their support for a city council declaration to reduce carbon emissions by 25 per cent within the next five years.

Across the globe in Colombia, physical resilience met climate resilience as 1,100 people enrolled in a ‘110KW’ marathon along a climate change trail highlighting the need for communities to strengthen their defenses against the worst impacts of climate change.

More than just turning out the lights, the ninth edition of Earth Hour was about people around the world sending a clear message that climate action is a political priority.

Since its origin as a symbolic lights off event in Sydney in 2007, WWF’s Earth Hour has grown into the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment igniting public awareness and action on climate in more than 7,000 cities across the world.

Earth Hour 2015 by the numbers:
- record participation by 172 countries and territories;
- lights off at over 1,400 landmarks and close to 40 UNESCO World Heritage sites;
- over 80 climate outcomes driven by WWF teams harnessing the power of Earth Hour;
- social media reach of approximately 384 million (Facebook & Twitter) between 23 and 29 March, including social posts and tweets on Earth Hour from celebrities like footballer Lionel Messi, actress Alicia Silverstone and model Gisele Bundchen;
- 300-plus ambassadors and influencers around the world including WWF Global Ambassadors Jared Leto and Andy Murray supported the campaign either on ground or digitally;
- support from thousands of corporates around the world including Rovio Entertainment, Timex and Zinkia Entertainment, creators of Pocoyo, the Earth Hour Kids Ambassador since 2010.

While the lights may go out on one night, the efforts of Earth Hour and its supporters to change climate change last throughout the year. As we move along the road to Paris and beyond, WWF teams will continue to work with citizens, policymakers and businesses to drive progress on key climate issues like access to renewable energy, climate education and fighting deforestation.

Earth Hour will celebrate our collective impact for the planet with supporters during its ten-year anniversary on 19 March 2016.
More than just turning out the lights, the ninth edition of Earth Hour was about people around the world sending a clear message that climate action is a political priority.
© Jeremiah Armstrong / WWF-Canada Enlarge
WWF’s Earth Hour has grown into the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment igniting public awareness and action on climate in more than 7,000 cities across the world.
© WWF / Jody Spectrum Enlarge
As South Africa turned off for the hour, citizens switched on their power for change by signing up for the Earth Hour movement.
© WWF-SA Enlarge