Today, Saturday 30 March 8:30 p.m. local time, skylines around the world will go dark as millions of people celebrate Earth Hour to show their commitment to protect the planet. As nature declines like never before, coupled with the ever-present challenge of climate change, Earth Hour 2019 will focus on raising awareness on why nature matters and inspiring global action on conserving nature.
From the Eiffel Tower to the Sydney Opera House, and the Empire State Building to Burj Khalifa, thousands of landmarks will switch off their lights in solidarity for the planet, to raise awareness about the importance of nature and encourage individuals, businesses and governments worldwide to be a part of the solutions needed to build a healthy, sustainable future – and planet – for all.
“On one hand we have the moral responsibility to live in harmony with nature, on the other nature is vitally important to everyone’s daily lives; we depend on it for the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink, and so much more. But we are pushing the planet to the limit and nature is severely under threat,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International. “Earth Hour 2019 is a powerful opportunity to start an unstoppable movement for nature to help secure an international commitment to stop and reverse the loss of nature – a New Deal for Nature and People as comprehensive and ambitious as the global climate deal.”
This year is set to be another important moment for the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, with more than 170 countries and territories coming together to highlight and invite action on the environmental issues most relevant to them.
Ecuador, for example, is pushing for a no-plastic law in the capital Quito, and Finland will be challenging over a quarter of the country’s population to eat a more balanced and better diet. Morocco will educate people on the importance of saving water and making every drop count.
Indonesia is encouraging 5 million young people to adopt a greener lifestyle. The hundreds of initiatives around the world will inspire awareness and action on the importance of nature and if we act now, together, we have the opportunity to protect and improve our way of life.
WWF is partnering with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to create connect2earth.org where people, companies and organizations can find tools to push for action on nature. Through Earth Hour’s mainstream appeal, the voices of many millions of people around the world will be needed to push nature up the global agenda.
People can speak up for the planet by pledging their support on Voice for the Planet calling on world leaders to agree a New Deal for Nature and People. The petition will be presented at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP in 2020, when a new set of global targets on nature will be agreed upon by governments.
In recognition of the critical role young people will play in creating a more sustainable world, WWF is also partnering with Zinkia Entertainment Ltd, creators of popular cartoon character Pocoyo, and the World Organization of the Scout Movement to inspire 50 million Scouts worldwide to help tackle the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges.
In the past decade, Earth Hour has inspired millions to support and participate in critical climate and environmental initiatives, helping drive climate policy, awareness and action worldwide. Among its highlights, the movement helped create a 3.5 million hectare marine-protected area in Argentina and a 2,700-hectare Earth Hour forest in Uganda, ban all plastics in the Galapagos in 2014, plant 17 million trees in Kazakhstan, light up homes with solar power in India and the Philippines and push new legislation for the protection of seas and forests in Russia. Just last year, French Polynesia moved to protect 5 million square kilometres of its seas to preserve ocean ecosystems.
Everyone can make a difference in protecting nature and it starts right here, right now with Earth Hour 2019. Visit www.earthhour.org to know what is happening for Earth Hour in locations around the world.