BIGGEST EARTH HOUR EVER BEGINS THE JOURNEY ACROSS THE GLOBE
MEDIA RELEASE: 31 MARCH 2012 SYDNEY: As Earth Hour begins its monumental journey around the globe, hundreds of millions of people are uniting to demonstrate that we urgently need to take action to protect our planet.
Tonight, the largest voluntary action for the environment is reaching further than ever before. Earth Hour is being celebrated in a record 150 countries and territories and 6494 towns and cities to send the message that our combined efforts are needed to change our future to one that is sustainable.
Lights go out at 8.30pm local time as Earth Hour travels around the world, offering an hour of inspiration to create awareness and motivate ongoing action for the environment.
From the International Space Station to the Office of the UN Secretary General, to a passionate teenager who has organized Earth Hour in Libya for the first time, the global movement is inspiring individuals, organizations and governments to take action to address the important environmental challenges that effect us all.
“Turning off our lights is a symbol of our commitment to sustainable energy for all,” UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said. “We need to fuel our future with clean, efficient and affordable energy. By acting together today, we can power a brighter tomorrow,” he said.
The small island nation of Samoa was the first to switch off the lights for Earth Hour. The Faleolo International Airport went dark as the community came together to launch a number of local green activities for the year ahead, illustrating their commitment towards a cleaner and safer future. “Every power or light switch that you can turn off to save energy; every metre that you can walk instead of driving, every tree that you can plant, after today – will all add up to help heal the world,” said Penina Solomona at the event.
People in Fiji also switched off their lights where possible despite the devastating floods. The President of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau who is the country’s leading Earth Hour Ambassador, issued a challenge to businesses, organisations and government departments to take clear-cut actions that will benefit our environment when Earth Hour launched on 15 February.
One of the world’s first major monuments to plunge into darkness was the Auckland Sky Tower, the tallest building in New Zealand. Night markets brought crowds of families to a major celebration in Tauranga and lights have been switched off along the length and breadth of the land of the long white cloud, as Kiwis get behind Earth Hour en masse.
Across the Tasman, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard pledged her support for Earth Hour and in Sydney - the city where Earth Hour began just 5 years ago – lights went out on global icons the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. “What began in Sydney as a simple idea to raise awareness of climate change – to switch off the lights for an hour – has become a global success,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a statement. Australians have turned out in huge numbers to celebrate the 60-minute switch-off, picnicking under the stars and having candlelit dinners. “We can all change the world we live in, whether that change be big or small. This year as the lights switch off, Earth Hour encourages you to commit to go beyond the hour and inspire your friends, colleagues, organization and leaders to do the same,” said Andy Ridley, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Earth Hour.
The I Will If You Will platform hosted at www.youtube.com/earthhour which dares the world to save the planet, is seeing extraordinary traffic as people are becoming empowered to create challenges to inspire their own community to adopt sustainability practices in their daily lives.
“As the lights switch off around the world, we want everyone to remember that this hour of darkness is inspiration for what is to come – a commitment from all of us to make positive environmental changes in our lives. Start by making your own I Will If You Will challenge and encourage those around you to do the same,” said Ridley.
Earth Hour has grown from a one-city initiative in 2007, to a 5,251 city strong global movement, last year reaching 1.8 billion people in 135 countries across all seven continents.
Earth Hour 2012 will take place at 8.30pm – 9.30pm on Saturday 31 March Watch the 2012
Earth Hour video
Note to media: Downloadable video footage of the global event will be available for in four B-rolls for media covering major regions on the night at
featured Images of landmarks switching off and global Earth Hour events will be available at
Rebecca George, Earth Hour Global, Rebecca@earthhour.org +61 421 988 035
Benjamin Vozzo, Earth Hour Global, Benjamin@earthhour.org +61 415 194 219
About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a global environmental initiative in partnership with WWF and Leo Burnett. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 31, 2012 at 8:30 PM to show their support for environmentally sustainable action. In 2012, Earth Hour’s I Will If You Will concept invites individuals and organisations to challenge others to an ongoing environmental commitment beyond the hour. Earth Hour began in one city in 2007 and by 2011 reached over 1.8 billion people in 135 countries across every continent, receiving reports as ‘the World’s largest campaign for the planet’.
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, 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.