- Earth Hour will take place online to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
- The event will take place on Saturday 28 March at 8:30pm.
- This year, the “Voice for the Planet” petition invites people from all over the world to add their voice to the call for urgent action to protect nature.
- 2020 hailed as a “critical year” to urge decision-makers into action.
For the first time since its inception in 2007, Earth Hour will be taking place exclusively online.
Have you read?
On Saturday 28 March, millions of people around the world will come together digitally to mark the occasion, campaigning for unified global action to save the natural world.
There are different ways to take part, including switching off your lights for an hour at 8:30pm local time and watching one of the live streams on the night.
This year, a new initiative from the World Economic Forum will take centre stage in the form of a petition called “Voice for the Planet”. The petition calls on world leaders to take urgent action to protect our natural home, and invites people from all over the world to add their voice to the planet’s plea for help.
Lights out for nature
Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by the WWF. The first Earth Hour took place in 2007 as a “lights out” event in Sydney, Australia. It then turned into an annual event, encouraging communities and businesses around the world to turn off their lights for one hour.
The original idea behind Earth Hour was to raise awareness of how we consume energy and its impact on the planet, but it has since grown into an all-encompassing movement.
In 2019, more than 180 countries took part in the switch-off. It started off in Samoa and travelled around the world, finishing in the Cook Islands 14 hours later. In London alone, landmarks such as The Shard, The Gherkin and Tower Bridge all switched off, drawing millions of people together in solidarity.
For a relatively young movement, Earth Hour has already achieved a great deal.
In the past 13 years it has, among other things, called for new legislation for the protection of forests in Russia, planted 17 million trees in Kazakhstan, advocated for the creation of a 3.5 million hectare marine-protected area in Argentina, and supported a complete ban on the use of plastic in Ecuador.
Amid concerns that the coronavirus pandemic could derail key climate talks this year, including the Convention on Biodiversity and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), 2020 is being hailed as a “critical year” to urge decision-makers to take action.
What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?
Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic requires global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community, which is at the centre of the World Economic Forum’s mission as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.
Since its launch on 11 March, the Forum’s COVID Action Platform has brought together 1,667 stakeholders from 1,106 businesses and organizations to mitigate the risk and impact of the unprecedented global health emergency that is COVID-19.
The platform is created with the support of the World Health Organization and is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.
As an organization, the Forum has a track record of supporting efforts to contain epidemics. In 2017, at our Annual Meeting, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched – bringing together experts from government, business, health, academia and civil society to accelerate the development of vaccines. CEPI is currently supporting the race to develop a vaccine against this strand of the coronavirus.
Biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate and the planet is on the brink of runaway global warming.