IUCN - A billion people in the dark for an hour

A billion people in the dark for an hour

28 March 2009 | News story

Today one billion people will turn off their lights for one hour-Earth Hour- at 8:30 pm local time wherever they are. Staying in the dark for an hour is a symbolic vote for action on climate change.

The two-year-old initiative, organized by WWF, and  supported by IUCN, aims to show governments, individuals and businesses that it is possible to take action on global warming.

"We all need to join this global environmental action to voice our collective concern about climate change and to show world leaders we are serious about securing a Global Deal on climate in less than nine months time," said Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of IUCN.

Earth Hour 2009 aims to reach one billion people in more than 1,000 cities, including businesses, governments and communities. The campaign is expected to produce the largest-ever groundswell of public support.

"Taking the first step is as easy as turning off a light. Encouraging others – entire cities, multinational corporations and people around the world – to perform this simple act for just one hour, makes it possible for everyone to participate," said Julia Marton-Lefèvre. "This is why IUCN is supporting Earth Hour, and is asking all of our members to join us in this important action."

Earth Hour is a broad global coalition campaign led by WWF, and IUCN coordinates closely with the 30 WWF country offices involved, all members of the Union.

Two years ago, Earth Hour began in one city, in one country, when more than 2.2 million households and businesses in Sydney turned off their lights for one hour. Last year, Earth Hour reached 370 cities and towns in more than 35 countries across 18 time zones, and the campaign shifted from a Sydney event to a global sustainability movement.

“There are no hard and fast rules surrounding participation in Earth Hour. We only ask that you flick that switch and have fun doing whatever you choose to do during that time, " said Andy Ridley, Earth Hour Executive Director.

For more information, visit www.earthhour.org.