Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event is held worldwide annually encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. towards the end of March, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. It was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Since then, it has grown to engage more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide. Today, Earth Hour engages a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues. The one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the now larger movements.
Earth Hour 2016 was on Saturday, March 19, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. during participants’ local time. It was also changed to avoid coinciding with the Christian Holy Saturday, which fell on March 26 of that year. It was the 10th year anniversary of the campaign’s beginnings in Sydney, Australia. Östersund in Sweden cancelled the 2016 event, following a spate of sex attacks, highlighting safety as a subject for discussion when saving resources. Almost all the countries in the world observed Earth Hour, Pakistan also observed this day
Earth Hour 2016 by the numbers (based on initial estimates collected on 20 March 2016):
– record participation by 178 countries and territories;
– over 6,600 events registered on digital maps by individuals and organizations;
– 1.23 million individual actions taken to help change climate change (on-the-ground activities, digital actions and climate petitions);
– lights out at over 400 iconic landmarks including the Sydney Opera House (Sydney), Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament (London), the Tokyo Tower (Tokyo), the Empire State Building (New York), Marina Bay Sands Hotel (Singapore) and the Eiffel Tower (Paris);
– over 2.5 billion impressions of official campaign hashtags in the week leading up to and on Earth Hour (14-19 March).
Since 2007, WWF’s Earth Hour has mobilized businesses, organizations, governments and hundreds of millions of individuals in over 7,000 cities and more than 170 countries and territories to act for a sustainable future.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change marks Canada’s Ratification of the Paris Agreement
Gatineau, Quebec – October 5, 2016 – Environment and Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna, released the following statement on the occasion of Canada ratifying the Paris Agreement at the United Nations in New York:
“From the earliest days of our government’s mandate, as Minister of Environment and Climate Change, I have been invested in the Paris Agreement. In December 2015, I led Canada’s delegation to COP21, where Canada played an instrumental role in reaching that historic agreement to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius. And where Canada fought to make sure Indigenous rights were recognized in the Agreement by all 195 countries that signed on. And I was there when Canada signed the Paris Agreement on April 22, Earth Day.
“Today, Parliament voted to support the ratification of the Paris Agreement, true to our commitment to do so this year. And once again, Canada is a leader on climate change. Our action will bring the world over the threshold of 55 countries accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions needed to bring the Paris Agreement into force.
“Here at home, we continue to work for Canadians, including Indigenous peoples, businesses, and the provinces and territories. We remain committed to developing a Canadian plan for clean growth and climate change to support families and businesses in making our country cleaner and more competitive.
“We are the first generation to truly feel the effects of climate change, and the last that is able to do something about it before it is too late. Canada’s children will remember today as the day the world did something about it.
“I’m proud to be a part of the Canadian and global effort to address climate change, and secure a cleaner future for our planet.”
Click here to learn more about World Wildlife Fund and Earth Hour