Welcome to the Earth Hour global community!
You join millions who turned off the lights for an hour to spark inspiration to do more for the planet and take action beyond the hour. As part of our community, you'll be kept updated with information and opportunities to participate in the Earth Hour movement. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for a full 360-degree engagement.
Lets unite people to protect the planet!
Earth Hour Header 2014
UPDATES FROM EARTH HOUR ANDY
This is the first of a daily blog that I will be pulling together sharing with you about some of the amazing people and activities that make up Earth Hour around the world in 2013. But first, I wanted to reflect back on Earth Hour 2012 - for us as a team it was a critical year. After having established the success of a symbolic campaign around the world in more than 130 countries and 5000 cites in 2011, together with an amazing group of people around the world, we wanted to see a massive growth in the activity that took us far beyond the hour.
Like the difficult second album, this is no easy thing to achieve. In 2011 we had tried basic pledges, which to be frank, did not resonate with our communities - so in 2012 we took a different approach and launched I Will if Your Will and what we saw was extraordinary.
Earth Hour as a campaign always works best where we are able to project a shared global spirit - whether that is at the level of turning the lights out (or in some countries, now turning solar lights on), or being able to share stories of participation, inspiration and outcomes.
As always we encouraged teams to localise the idea of IWIYW, and it was the Indonesians who where the first to rip up the rule book and make it their own, building on a community based around separate EH twitter accounts in more than 20 cities across Java. They made Ini Aksiku! Mana Aksimu? (This is my action! What is yours?) their call to action. Whilst resources for the campaign were limited, the scale of participation somehow exploded - EH 2012 in Indonesia grew exponentially. Of course the greatest thing is not the numbers, but rather a generation of people in the country challenging each other and connecting far beyond the traditional green movement, into popular culture.
One team that lifted the bar for us all with its IWIYW campaign was WWF's Earth Hour team in Russia. After many years of valiant efforts to pass legislation to protect Russian seas from oil pollution after the catastrophic oil spill in the Kerchensky Strait of Southern Russia in 2007, the team achieved a massive victory in late December of 2012. The Russian parliament passed the long-awaited law to protect the country’s seas from oil pollution, after the voices of 120,000 Russians were presented to the government during our IWIYW campaign of 2012.
This year for Earth Hour 2013, the WWF-Russia team is pursuing legislative changes that would protect an area twice the size of France from industrial logging, using the same model that led to the sea oil outcome in 2012. The've already amassed 40,000 signatures.
Times are very different from when we first started Earth Hour in 2007 - back then many of the environmental challenges that face us today did not directly affect the lives of so many across the planet. But in the last few months alone we have seen the streets of Indonesia's capital flood, Australia ravaged by floods and fire, Hurricane Sandy ravaging New Jersey and New York with costs of more than US$55bn, super typhoons destroying lives and livelihoods in the Philippines, and smog choking the cities of China. The list goes on. The issues have become real to so many more people - our hope is that we can use the Earth Hour movement to mobilise not only the desire for action, but also the desire to be part of that change. Here's my address that I (Andy) delivered at the global media launch in Singapore on all of the above.
Over the next two weeks we will share with you the best scope of stories we hear from around the world. From Argentina's bold plan to secure a 3.4 million hectare Marine Protected Area with the support of the people, to all the cities challenging other cities in this year's EHCC; all the way to a 7 year old Greek lad who has said 'I will give up chocolate if 50 people will green their balconies' . Momentum for the campaign is built through the sharing of stories, efforts and outcomes both big and small. The biggest story of 2012 came from two 19 year olds in Libya, who after the war were able to hold lights off events in both Tripoli and Benghazi. Now this year Earth Hour has grown to at least 5 cities across Libya, and has become the first environment movement post-Gaddafi in the country.
It is the sum of all our actions that make Earth Hour so different, the combination of real grass roots activity and massive social media presence allowing us to genuinely create an interconnected global community - when you find an inspirational story, a story about what can be done not what can't - it can be shared around the world and inspire others to take actions both big and small. Our mission this year is to complete the foundations of a global community, and build on this in the years ahead.