Earth Hour was launched in Sydney in 2007, with 2.2 million people and 2100 businesses participating in the ‘lights off’ event. Just one year later, Earth Hour became a global phenomenon with over 35 countries, and an estimated 50-100 million people participating.
A great home-grown success story, the Aussie campaign is designed to draw attention to global warming and get people talking about what we can do to help – a powerful message to politicians that we need some certainty, leadership and direction about the climate change issue.
2017 will mark the 10th anniversary of Earth Hour as a global phenomenon. On Saturday March 25, Australians will be called upon to turn off their lights between 8:30-9.30pm as a symbol of support for a low pollution, clean energy future for all generations.
What started as an Aussie idea has grown into a global force of nature, now celebrated in over 172 countries and over 7,000 cities and towns worldwide. The symbolic hour has grown into the world’s largest environmental movement, with beyond-the-hour projects and initiatives happening throughout the year.
As part of its 10th anniversary, Earth Hour is going back to its roots, engaging with 10-year-olds around the country (born the same year as the first Earth Hour) to find out from them what they would like to see happen for their future.
The idea is that they will take this information and discuss it at home with their families. This is where real change can take place, with the everyday Australian doing what they can to shape the future of the country and lessen the impact of climate change.
Families, friends, businesses, schools and communities across the country can register and submit information about their own events here in advance of the global event.
Dermot O’Gorman, CEO for WWF-Australia, says: “Australians should feel proud of the role they’ve played in starting a decade-long, global conversation about climate change. It’s a great Australian success story. What started as an Aussie movement has grown into a global phenomenon for climate change.
“We have seen a huge number of positive steps towards a brighter future in the decade since Earth Hour started, proof that one person can make a difference.”
Dermot, who in 2009, had the pleasure of turning off the lights to The Bird Nest Stadium and The Water Cube in Beijing for the WWF in China, believes that individual action renders significant results.
“My overall message- one that keeps me motivated- is that individuals make a difference, particularly when they team-up with like-minded people. When you empower millions of people to work together, it snowballs and you can achieve the change you want to see,” Dermot says.