This Saturday, March 25 at 8:30 pm there will be a worldwide blackout. For one hour, more than 190 countries and millions of people around the world will turn off the light voluntarily as a commitment to the protection of nature.
Since its inception, the act has been held every year on the last Saturday of March and aims to demonstrate that it is possible to make a difference with small actions.
Currently, the initiative is promoted by the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), the largest independent international organization dedicated to the conservation of nature and the environment. It has more than 5 million members and a global network active in more than 100 countries.
“Time is running against us and that is why we don’t have a minute to lose. We must act quickly and decisively, turn around our way of relating to the planet”, stated the WWF in a statement in which it assured that the only way to save the planet is by changing people’s habits.
The main actions of the organization are focused on six major objectives: species, forests, oceans, fresh water, food and climate, and energy. In addition, their work is carried out hand in hand with local communities to meet the needs of people and nature.
What is Earth Hour?
Earth Hour is an annual event that takes place globally where people turn off their lights for one hour as a symbolic gesture to raise awareness about climate change and the need for action to protect the planet.
It is usually held on the last Saturday in March at 8:30 pm local time. The event began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and has since grown to involve millions of people in over 190 countries and territories.
In addition to turning off lights, some people also use the hour to reflect on their own actions and make pledges to reduce their environmental impact. Earth Hour is organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
How to help?
The blackout promotes energy savings, considerably reduces polluting emissions and light pollution. However, the organization seeks to encourage other actions that contribute to the conservation of the environment.
Picking up garbage in a park, preparing a recipe with sustainable ingredients, planting a tree or gathering family and friends for an event related to Earth Hour, are some of the small actions that they propose on their website.
Does switching off the lights reduce climate change?
Every year, Earth Hour sees millions of houses, offices, and historic buildings worldwide turn off their lights. Even iconic monuments like the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building have participated in the past.
A study analyzing data from 10 countries over six years found that Earth Hour reduced electricity consumption by an average of four percent. However, the WWF notes that the switch-off is largely symbolic and serves as a moment for reflection on what individuals can do to help the planet.
According to Dr. Kirsten Schuijt, Director General of WWF International, by “switching off” daily distractions and focusing on positive actions for the environment, a single Earth Hour can turn into thousands and millions of hours of action.
Participation from over 190 countries and territories highlights global awareness of the climate crisis and the millions of people who are fighting to save the planet.
Earth Hour is also an opportunity to call for legislative change and government-led green initiatives. In the past, Earth Hour has inspired significant environmental achievements such as a ban on disposable packaging in the Galápagos Islands and the creation of a Marine Protected Area in French Polynesia.
The road to 2030
Since the movement started the world has changed drastically. The planet has warmed 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels and is expected to reach 1.5°C by 2030. That is why, according to WWF, the next seven years are crucial for the future, so it is necessary to stay below that temperature. extent.
In December 2022, the United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity, COP15, ended with a historic agreement between more than 190 countries to stop and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030, where the objective established in the Agreement of Paris 2015 was to keep warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
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