01 What is Earth Hour?
Earth Hour, organized by WWF, is a global grassroots movement uniting people to take action on environmental issues and protect the planet. Engaging a massive mainstream community, Earth Hour was famously started as a lights out event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then, it has grown to engage millions of supporters in more than 185 countries and territories, inspiring individuals and organizations worldwide to take action for the environment, and driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of the crowd. As the movement grows, the one-hour lights out event continues to be the symbol of a broader commitment toward nature and our planet.
02 When does Earth Hour take place?
03 Is Earth Hour an annual event?
04 How long has Earth Hour been going for?
The first Earth Hour event was held on 31 March 2007. WWF-Australia inspired Sydney-siders to show their support for climate action. More than 2.2 million individuals and 2,000 businesses turned their lights out for one hour in the first Earth Hour event.
05 What does Earth Hour ask people to do?
06 What does Earth Hour aim to achieve?
For the past 10 years, people around the world have come together every Earth Hour to support efforts to tackle climate change. And, together, we have created a powerful movement that helped deliver strong global commitments to tackling this threat. Climate change remains a big challenge for us all.
But another urgent threat now demands our attention: the staggering loss of biodiversity and nature. Earth Hour today endeavors to spark global conversations on protecting nature not only because it is our strongest ally against to the climate crisis - but also because of its importance in ensuring our own health, happiness, prosperity and even survival.
07 What does a commitment to Earth Hour mean?
08 Why is Earth Hour the event held in late March?
09 What has Earth Hour achieved since the movement began?
- WWF-Uganda created the world’s first Earth Hour Forest
- More than 250,000 Russians voiced support for better protection of their country’s seas and forests
- Argentina used its 2013 Earth Hour campaign to help pass a Senate bill for a 3.4 million hectares Marine Protected Area in the country
- Thousands of wood-saving stoves were distributed to families in Madagascar
- Solar-powered lights were installed in three villages without electricity in India
- In Paraguay, WWF used the Earth Hour platform to build public support to gain an extension of the logging moratorium, helping to reduce deforestation
- Education programs for schools were launched in Thailand and Taiwan
- Hundreds of thousands of LED lights were installed by girl scouts in the USA
- More than 2,123 mitigation actions submitted by Earth Hour City Challenge 2014 participating cities
But this is just the start. There are so many more Earth Hour stories out there we’re still discovering, and of course much more to do.
10 What does the Earth Hour logo mean?
11 I'm new to Earth Hour, where can I start?
12 Who can participate?
13 I represent a hotel. What is the best way for my organisation to celebrate Earth Hour?
14 Does Earth Hour welcome the support of other NGOs (Non-Government Organisations) and NFP's (Not for Profits)?
Absolutely. In fact, the success of Earth Hour would not be possible without the support of other NGOs and NFPs. Global organizations such as the World Organization of the Scout Movement and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts have been pivotal in spreading the Earth Hour message, while in some countries where there is no WWF presence, Earth Hour campaigns are orchestrated entirely by other NGOs and NFPs.
15 Do you have requirements or regulations about who can or cannot partner with Earth Hour?
16 Whose idea was Earth Hour?
Earth Hour came from a think tank initiated by Earth Hour Co-Founder, Andy Ridley, resulting in the formation of a partnership between WWF-Australia, Leo Burnett and Fairfax Media to address the climate change issue.
In 2007, there was still a degree of skepticism and denial on the issue of climate change. Earth Hour came as the inspiration to rally people to the reality of climate change and start a dialogue about what we as individuals can do to help address the planet’s biggest environmental challenge yet. Leo Burnett partnered with WWF to promote the idea and help make the campaign a reality in Sydney, a campaign which has now gone beyond Australia and climate change to symbolize the growing global pursuit of a better, sustainable future for all.
17 What is Earth Hour’s relationship with WWF?
18 Back to the event. Isn't switching the lights off dangerous? What about public safety?
19 How can I do more for Earth Hour than just switching off my lights?
20 How many cities/countries/landmarks took part in Earth Hour 2018?
21 If everyone turns their lights back on at the same time will there be a power surge?
22 Earth Hour is advertised all over the world. Does Earth Hour pay for this advertising?
23 Aren't you using a lot of electricity and resources to promote this event?
24 What energy/carbon reductions have resulted from Earth Hour in previous years?
25 Will my city go completely black during the event?
26 Will Earth Hour events take place this year, given the threat of the COVID-19 (coronavirus)?
The well-being and health of our supporters and staff is our top priority. Many countries are currently facing a health crisis with the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives from this outbreak and our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones or who are sick. Given the unprecedented circumstances, the Earth Hour global organizing team is advising that Earth Hour is celebrated digitally this year but countries should decide what to do for the best in line with national guidelines.
There are many ways to encourage participation online or at home so your communities can show support for the planet on and around the hour. If you are planning an Earth Hour event online in your own community, here are some great ideas. If you do decide to continue with an on-the-ground Earth Hour event, please closely follow national health guidelines on hosting large public events and make a decision based on the advice provided by your country's Ministry of Health.
Wherever you are, you can help make this year's Earth Hour bigger than ever by speaking up for nature loss and and showing your support online by adding your Voice for the Planet. Please ask your family and friends to do the same.
Earth Hour has always been a people-led movement. The well-being and health of our supporters and staff is our top priority. We stand in solidarity and support of our global communities and encourage all participants to celebrate Earth Hour safely.
27 Do you think it is appropriate to celebrate Earth Hour when the world is facing a global health crisis? Why doesn’t WWF simply cancel Earth Hour?
The well-being and health of our supporters and staff is our top priority. In the midst of the COVID 19 health crisis, we need to stand together now more than ever to safeguard our future and the future of our planet. Earth Hour 2020 is more than a symbolic event, it is a global environmental movement to stop the destruction of nature on which our health, happiness and future prosperity depends. Nature is the planet’s life support system and gives us everything we need; from the air we breathe, the water we drink, to the food we eat. The link between nature and good health has been well documented. Even spending two hours a week in nature is known to lead to better health. Nature underpins our life, health and well-being but it is in a crisis! Now is not the time to pause our collective work, but a time to respond more creatively, work more collaboratively, and listen and adapt more effectively.
We are therefore advising that communities celebrate Earth Hour digitally this year and follow national health guidelines on attending and hosting public events. Whichever way you, your community, your family or your friends choose to celebrate Earth Hour this year, we can still raise our collective voices to secure a New Deal for Nature and People, even if this year, we are doing it from the safety of our homes. Show your support online by adding your Voice for the Planet. Please ask your family and friends to do the same.
Some of the countries celebrating Earth Hour digitally are in fact hosting virtual events as exciting and ambitious as our physical events. Stay tuned for more updates on this page to find out more.
28 What is WWF’s message to the thousands of gatherings planned for Earth Hour? NEW!
The health and safety of your community should be your first priority. Please follow these best practice guidelines:
- The Earth Hour global organising team advises that communities celebrate Earth Hour digitally this year. There are many ways to encourage participation online or at home to show support for the planet on and around the hour - here are some great ideas.
- If you decide to host an Earth Hour on-ground event, you should always closely follow national health guidelines on hosting public events and make a decision based on the advice provided by your Ministry of Health. And remember, your attendees may have concerns. You can reassure them by providing them with the latest information, based on national health guidelines.
- We recommend you continue monitoring and following national health guidelines closely as circumstances are dynamic and can change on a daily basis. It would be good to have contingency plans in place in the case of an on ground event cancellation. Do also prepare a communication plan to keep participants and partners informed. Ensure timely and transparent communication.
Whichever way you, your family or your friends choose to participate in Earth Hour this year, your collective voices are vitally important. Together, we must secure a New Deal for Nature and People to protect and restore nature for people and the planet.