Millions shine light on climate action for Earth Hour 2016

Thousands of people attended the main Earth Hour Philippines switch-off, which celebrated low-carbon solutions PHOTO COURTESY OF WWF

Thousands of people attended the main Earth Hour Philippines switch-off, which celebrated low-carbon solutions PHOTO COURTESY OF WWF

For 60 minutes, the earth, including the Philippines, stood still.

Earth Hour, organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), rolled across the world on March 19 with millions coming together to shine a light on the climate action our planet needs.

The 10th edition of the movement’s signature switch-off saw individuals, communities, organizations and landmarks in an unprecedented 178 countries and territories switch off in solidarity with global efforts to change climate change.

Taking place months after the historic climate summit in Paris, Earth Hour 2016 was celebrated across seven continents, aboard the International Space Station and served as a strong visual reminder of the globe’s determination to tackle our planet’s biggest environmental challenge yet.

The Philippines has been championing Earth Hour since 2008 and has topped participation records from 2009 to 2013 – earning it the title of Earth Hour Hero Country.

“More important than switching-off are our personal commitments to fight climate change by reducing our use of electricity and other resources,” explains Earth Hour Philippines Director Atty. Angela Ibay. “Now that Earth Hour is over, the real work begins.”

As more than 400 iconic landmarks dimmed their lights, a collective hope that our actions today can create promise for the planet and future generations shined through.

“The past 24 hours have shown us yet again the impact we can achieve when we unite for a cause,” says Earth Hour Executive Director Siddarth Das. “Every light switch turned off represents a call to switch on our collective power and be the first line of defence for our planet as we form the frontlines of climate change.”

While the Earth Hour movement has grown from a one-city event in Sydney in 2007 to the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, the need for climate action has also accelerated. This year, WWF and Earth Hour teams used the Earth Hour movement to engage people in critical climate conversations and solutions.

“As new climate records are broken month after month, the record-breaking participation of Earth Hour reminds us that we are also witnessing mounting momentum to change climate change. The grassroots are meeting the governments in their ambition for strong climate action, sparking hope for the future we can shape for generations to come,” Das added.

These words were echoed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a video statement recorded for the movement in which he states that Earth Hour 2016 comes at a pivotal moment when the road ahead requires commitment and ambition and we all have a role to play.

To date in 2016, WWF’s Earth Hour has been the force behind more than 1.23 million individual actions taken to help change climate change including participating in on-the-ground activities for reforestation and recycling, digital petitions for climate-friendly policy and online campaigns to promote climate awareness and action.

As part of the Donate Your Social Power campaign, supporters around the world also donated their social feeds to WWF and Earth Hour to shine a light on climate action. With automated posts and custom Earth Hour profile pictures appearing in personal newsfeeds worldwide, supporters helped spread awareness and action on climate across a potential social reach surpassing 18.7 million people.


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