WWF'S Earth Hour Sparks Worldwide Unity On Climate Change

Share Article

74 cities in 62 countries commit to Earth Hour 2009; Earth Hour aims to reach one billion people in 1,000 cities around the world; Economic downturn an opportunity to steer economy into safer sustainable future

Earth Hour

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.

Past News Releases


74 cities in 62 countries are announcing their commitment 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, the worldwide blog community, online social communities to spread the word so that individuals, businesses and governments will switch off lights for just one hour on Saturday March 28 at 8:30pm to create a platform of support for action on climate change.

Earth Hour aims to demonstrate unprecedented solidarity and provide a visual mandate for action on climate change that will culminate in December 2009 in Copenhagen when world leaders gather to strike new agreements on addressing climate change.

The lights out initiative, which Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007 as a public awareness raising campaign on climate change, has grown significantly over the past two years and now has 74 cities ready to flick the switch in 2009. Cities already committed include Moscow, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Rome, Manila, Oslo, Cape Town, Warsaw, Lisbon, Singapore, Istanbul, Mexico City, Toronto, Dubai and Copenhagen.

At 8:30 pm 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 the world's tallest building in Dubai - the Burj Dubai, the tallest free-standing structure in the Americas - the CN Tower in Toronto, Moscow's Federation Tower 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 in support of Earth Hour's action on climate change.

With individuals and online communities spreading the word, many millions of people will join the protest and switch off their lights in their homes. Last year the global blogging community generated an estimated 65,700 posts supporting Earth Hour. This year, with the growth of social media we hope with the support of the global blog community and online communities to surpass that number 4-fold as Earth Hour calls for action and vocal support to take visual action on climate change.

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 David Miller, Mayor of Toronto and chair of the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group said, "The C40 Climate Leadership Group is about cities working together to drive down greenhouse gas emissions and that is why as Chair of the C40 I support Earth Hour. It's crucial that cities and the public come together to take action against climate change and Earth Hour provides a great platform to do that."

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 when the world meets to agree on a plan to 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 if we are to succeed."

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


  • Hong Kong will announce details of its Earth Hour participation at a press conference on December 14 and Beijing will hold an Earth Hour launch ceremony on December 15. For more information please contact Chris Chaplin (China, Chinese, English languages) email: cchaplin at wwfchina dot org or King-yin Lee (Hong Kong, Chinese, English languages) email: kylee at wwf dot org.hk
  • B-roll and Earth Hour still images can be found at http://www.earthhour.org/mediacentre. If you have a specific request for your blog, contact Sarah Barry.

Current Earth Hour Global Social Media Profiles:
MySpace: myspace.com/earthhour
YouTube: youtube.com/earthhour2009
Twitter: twitter.com/earthhour
Facebook Fans: facebook.com/pages/Earth-Hour/6867084435?ref=mf
Facebook Group: facebook.com/group.php?gid=2235111402&ref=mf
Flickr Photostream: flickr.com/photos/earthhour_global
Bebo: bebo.com/earthhour_global

About Earth Hour:
Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM to show their support for action on climate change. The event began in Sydney in 2007, when 2 million people switched off their lights. In 2008, more than 50 million people around the globe participated. In 2009, Earth Hour aims to reach out to 1 billion people in 1,000 cities. http://www.earthhour.org

About WWF:
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. http://www.wwf.org


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Sarah Barry
Earth Hour
+ 61 (0) 411 556 661
Email >
Visit website