Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by the World Wide Fund
for Nature (WWF). The event is held annually encouraging individuals,
communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights
for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm on a specific day towards the
end of March, as a symbol of commitment to the planet. It was
started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Since
then, it has grown to engage more than 7,000 cities and towns across
187 countries and territories.
Occasionally, in years when
Holy Saturday falls on the last Saturday
Earth Hour is moved a week early rather than its traditional
Earth Hour 2018 was on March 24, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
Earth Hour 2019 is scheduled for March 30, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
1.1 Conception and start: 2004–2007
1.3.2 Participating television and radio stations
1.4.1 Participating TV channels and radio stations
2 Organizations that support Earth Hour
3 Measurement of reduction in electricity use
5 See also
7 External links
Conception and start: 2004–2007
In 2004, confronted with scientific findings, WWF
Australia met with
advertising agency Leo Burnett
Sydney to "discuss ideas for engaging
Australians on the issue of climate change". The idea of a large
scale switch off was coined and developed in 2006, originally under
the working title "The Big Flick". WWF
Australia presented their
Fairfax Media who, along with
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover
Moore, agreed to back the event. The 2007
Earth Hour was held on
March 31 in Sydney,
Australia at 7:30 pm, local time.
In October 2007 San Francisco ran its own "Lights Out" program
inspired by the
Sydney Earth Hour. After their successful event in
October, the organizers decided to rally behind the
Earth Hour being
planned for March 2008.
Earth Hour 2008
Wikinews has related news: Businesses and individuals worldwide turn
lights off as part of
Earth Hour 2008
Earth Hour 2008 was held internationally on March 29, 2008 from
8 pm to 9 pm local time, marking the first anniversary of
the event. 35 countries around the world participated as official
flagship cities and over 400 cities also supported. Landmarks around
the world turned off their non-essential lighting for Earth Hour. Some
websites took part in the event, with Google's homepage going "dark"
on the day .
According to a Zogby International online survey, 36 million
Americans—approximately 16 percent of the United States adult
Earth Hour 2008. The survey also showed
there was a 4 percentage point increase in the level of interest in
environmental issues such as climate change and pollution directly
after the event (73 percent pre-event versus 77 percent
Sydney Harbour Bridge and
Sydney Opera House were darkened during
Earth Hour 2007.
Tel Aviv scheduled their
Earth Hour for Thursday March 27, 2008 to
avoid conflict with Sabbath. Dublin moved their
Earth Hour to
between 9 and 10 pm due to their northern geographical location.
Azrieli Center in
Tel Aviv darkened for
Earth Hour 2010.
Colosseum darkened for
Earth Hour 2008
Auditorio de Tenerife
Auditorio de Tenerife darkened for Earth Hour
According to WWF Thailand,
Bangkok decreased electricity usage by
73.34 megawatts, which, over one hour, is equivalent to 41.6 tonnes of
carbon dioxide. The
Bangkok Post gave different figures of 165
megawatt-hours and 102 tonnes of carbon dioxide. This was noted to be
significantly less than a similar campaign initiated by Bangkok's City
Hall the previous year in May, when 530 megawatt-hours were saved and
143 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission were cut.
Philippine Electricity Market Corp. noted that power consumption
dropped by about 78.63 megawatts in Metro Manila, and up to 102.2
megawatts on Luzon. The maximum demand drop of around 39 MW was
experienced at 8:14 pm in
Metro Manila and of around 116 MW
at 8:34 pm in the
Ontario used approximately 900 megawatt-hours less electrical energy
during Earth Hour. At one point,
Toronto saw an 8.7% reduction in
consumption as compared to a typical March Saturday night.
Ireland, as a whole, had a reduction in electricity use of about 1.5%
for the evening. In the three-hour period between 6:30 pm and
9:30 pm, there was a reduction of 50 megawatts, saving 150
megawatt-hours, or approximately 60 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge and
Marin Headlands public open space in the
background, before (inset) and during
Earth Hour 2008
In Dubai, where external lighting on several major city landmarks was
turned off and street lighting in selected areas was dimmed by 50%,
the Electricity and Water Authority reported savings of 100
megawatt-hours of electricity. This represented a 2.4% reduction in
demand compared to before the hour began.
The Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, switched off its usual
floodlighting during the Earth Hour, and re-lit afterwards. (the red
lights in the middle image are aircraft warning lights)
The best result was from Christchurch, New Zealand, with the city
reporting a drop of 13% in electricity demand. However, national grid
operator Transpower reported that New Zealand's power consumption
Earth Hour was 335 megawatts, higher than the 328 megawatt
average of the previous two Saturdays. Melbourne, Australia
reduced demand by 10.1%. Sydney, being the city that participated in
both the 2007 and 2008 Earth Hours, cut electricity consumption by
8.4%. This is less than the previous year's 10.2%; however, Earth Hour
executive director Andy Ridley made the claim that after factoring
margin of error, the participation in this city was the same.
The worst result was from Calgary, Canada. The city's power
consumption actually went up 3.6% at the hour's peak electricity
demand. Calgary's weather plays a large role in power consumption,
and the city experienced weather 12 °C (around 22 °F)
colder than the previous Saturday's recorded temperature in the
inaugural year. Enmax, the city's power supplier, has confirmed
that in all subsequent years, Calgarians have not supported the Earth
Hour initiative, noting that power consumption changed only marginally
during the hour in 2010 and 2011 (1% or less) and in 2012 and 2013
showed no appreciable change in power usage at all.
Wikinews has related news: Businesses and individuals worldwide to
turn lights off as part of
Earth Hour 2009
Earth Hour 2009 was from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time,
March 28, 2009. The campaign was titled "Vote Earth" and was dubbed
"the world's first global vote" with one billion votes was the stated
Earth Hour 2009, in the context of the pivotal 2009 United
Nations Climate Change Conference. WWF reported that 88 countries and
4,159 cities participated in
Earth Hour 2009, ten times more
Earth Hour 2008 had (2008 saw 400 cities participate).
Among the participants in 2009 was, for the first time, the United
Nations Headquarters in New York City.
In Egypt, the lights went out on the
Sphinx and the Great Pyramids of
Giza from 8:30 to 9:30 pm.
Philippines saw participation from 647 cities and towns; over
10 million Filipinos were estimated to have joined in the
hour-long lights-off. This was followed by Greece with 484 cities
and towns participating, and
Australia with 309.
Despite official organizers WWF stating that the event is not about
the reduction in electricity, a number of public institutions reported
on electricity savings in their cities to see participation numbers.
Canadian province of Ontario, excluding the city of Toronto, saw a
decrease of 6% in electricity usage while
Toronto saw a decrease of
15.1% (nearly doubled from 8.7% the previous year) as many businesses
darkened, including the landmark CN Tower.
Philippines was able to save 611
MWh of electricity during the
time period, which is said to be equivalent to shutting down a dozen
coal-fired power plants for an hour.
Swedish electricity operator
Svenska Kraftnät recorded a 2.1%
decrease in power consumption from its projected figure between 8 pm
and 9 pm. The following hour, the corresponding number was
5%. This is equivalent to the consumption of approximately half a
million households out of the total 4.5 million households in
Vietnam Electricity Company, Vietnam's electricity demand
MWh during Earth Hour.
96 countries and territories on 6 continents participated in the event
Participating television and radio stations
National Geographic Channel
National Geographic Channel suspended regular programming for an
hour and showed how to reduce energy consumption during Earth Hour.
National Geographic Channel
National Geographic Channel Asia suspended broadcast on March 28, 2009
from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
Cartoon Network and
Magic 105.4 FM broadcast
Earth Hour at 20:30 for
Malaysia's 8TV halted transmission for one hour starting from
Villa TV halted transmission for one hour in
Canal 5 in Mexico halted transmission for one hour in
Mexico City at
ABS-CBN turned off the lights in their studio from
20:30 to 21:30.
Naga City internet radio stations Zone105 and XFM Naga went offline at
Radiotelevisión Española (RTVE) turned off the lights in their
newsrooms and their sets.
The metal structure of the greenhouses of the curitiban Botanic Garden
(Curitiba, Paraná, Southern Brazil), with its lights off on March 27,
A picture of 1600 pandas (made in Thailand by the World Wide Fund for
Nature) exposed in
Boulogne-Billancourt (France) on the occasion of
Earth Hour 2010 was held from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time
on March 27. In Israel, the hour was held on April 22.
126 countries participated in
Earth Hour 2010.
In the United States polling showed that an estimated 90,000,000
Americans participated in
Earth Hour as lights were turned off around
the country, including landmarks such as Mount Rushmore, the Las Vegas
Empire State Building
Empire State Building and Niagara Falls.
Some cities and landmarks took the opportunity to make more long-term
adjustments to their everyday power consumption. In Chicago, the
Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) developed lighting
guidelines to reduce light pollution and reduce the carbon footprint
of downtown buildings.
Mount Rushmore in
South Dakota started powering
down each night around 9 pm instead of 11 pm.
In Vietnam, electricity demand fell 500,000 kWh during Earth Hour
2010, which was three times larger than the first time the country
joined the event in 2009.
In the Philippines, 1,067 towns and cities pledged participation in
2010 and over 15 million Filipinos participated in the event.
About 4000 cities participated, including landmarks such as Big Ben,
the Empire State Building, the
Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower,
the Parthenon, the Brandenburg Gate, and the Forbidden City.
Participating TV channels and radio stations
National Geographic Channel
National Geographic Channel Asia and
Cartoon Network both suspended
broadcasting from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm
In the Philippines,
GMA Network turned off lights in their building
from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, while
ABS-CBN stopped broadcasting and
turned off their lights.
Vietnam's FBNC channel joined hands with
Earth Hour Vietnam.
The Agenda with Steve Paikin on TV
Ontario ran its full program running
only on candlelight again.
Earth Hour 2011 was the biggest year in the campaign's five-year
history, reaffirming it as the largest ever voluntary action for the
environment. In 2011, the tagline "Beyond the Hour" was adopted by
organizers as a way to encourage people to take their commitment to
the cause beyond the 60-minute event. Together with agency Leo
Earth Hour unveiled an updated planet themed logo that
included a small plus symbol to the right of the signature "60" which
was used in previous years. The 60+ symbol continues to be the main
logo used by campaign organizers around the world.
Earth Hour 2011 took place in a record 5,251 cities and towns in 135
countries and territories on all seven continents. It had an
estimated reach of 1.8 billion people across the globe. In
addition to this, the campaign's digital footprint grew to 91
Earth Hour 2011 was held on March 26, 2011 from 8:30 pm
to 9:30 pm. IST, flagged off by the Chief Minister of Delhi
Sheila Dikshit and
Earth Hour 2011 Ambassador and Bollywood actress
Vidya Balan in the presence of Jim Leape, Director General, WWF
International. Rosebowl channel suspended broadcasting from
8.30 pm to 9.30 pm to mark the observance of Earth Hour.
In Azerbaijan, Maiden Tower darkened for Earth Hour.
The Philippines, which has been an active participant of the Earth
Hour, had an early "earth hour" when power was accidentally
Metro Manila and nearby provinces into
darkness. After power was restored, major buildings, commercial
centers and residential areas in
Metro Manila and most provinces
continued to turn off their lights, while participating channels in
Cartoon Network halted their
transmissions for an hour.
30 provinces and cities in
Vietnam took part in
Earth Hour 2011 with
the main event held in Nha Trang. The nation's electricity demand fell
400,000 kWh, one-fifth less than the previous year's. Vietnam
managed to save 500 million
VND (US$23,809) thanks to the saved
YouTube promoted the
Earth Hour by changing its logo, and by adding a
switch on/off feature near the title of each video, so that users
could change the background colour from white to black.
One of the least co-operative areas traditionally has been Alberta; in
2008, Calgary's power consumption went up during Earth Hour. The trend
continued in 2011 when Edmonton's power usage also increased. While
Calgary's power usage went down in 2011 during the event, electricity
officials could not distinguish their readings between normal usage
and a conscious attempt to participate.
Earth Hour Global headquarters was moving from
Sydney to Singapore in
February 2012. A launch event took place at ION Orchard on February
20, with the move supported by Singapore's Economic Development Board
(EDB) and WWF-Singapore.
Earth Hour 2012 was observed on March 31, 2012, from 8:30 pm to
9:30 pm (participants' local time). It took place in more
than 7000 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories,
making it the biggest growth year for the campaign since 2009. It was
also the first year that
Earth Hour was celebrated in space, with
André Kuipers tweeting at various moments during the
event's trek around the globe.
Italy, Verona, Arena with backlight on on square Bra, in the bottom
Town Hall before
Earth Hour 2013
Italy, Verona, Arena with backlight off on square Bra, in the bottom
Town Hall during
Earth Hour 2013
Earth Hour 2013 was held across the world on Saturday, March 23 at
8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time to avoid taking place
European Summer Time
European Summer Time began, ensuring a greater impact for the
lights-off event. It was also changed to avoid coinciding with the
Christian Holy Saturday, which fell on March 30 of that year.[citation
In 2013, the world's first
Earth Hour Forest began in Uganda, an
ongoing project that aims to restore 2700 hectares of degraded land.
Standard Chartered Bank-Uganda pledged to help fill the forest with
more than 250,000 trees.
Earth Hour commemorations in Madagascar had as their highlight the
distribution of one thousand wood-saving stoves to victims of the
cyclone Haruna in the southern town of Toliara, extensively damaged in
February 22 storm. WWF-Madagascar and ADES (Association pour le
Développement de l'Energie Solaire) distributed an additional 2,200
wood-saving stoves later that year.
Former President of Botswana,
Festus Mogae promised to plant one
million indigenous trees over four years, as part of his "I Will If
You Will" challenge for Earth 2013.
WWF-Russia launched its 2013 campaign aiming to secure more than
100,000 signatures from Russian citizens to petition for amendments to
the current forest legislation. The petition reached more than 127,000
signatures before the
Earth Hour event, ensuring the legislation was
debated in the State Duma by politicians.
Earth Hour 2014 took place on Saturday, March 29, during the same 8:30
to 9:30 pm local timeslot.
Earth Hour Blue was launched as a
global crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the planet. "It
is all about the collective effort of individuals around the world
getting together to help fund or add their voice to support
on-the-ground environmental and social projects that deliver real
Earth Hour 2014 Report highlighted a broad range of
environmental outcomes achieved by the movement across 162 countries
and territories around the world. More than US$60,000 was raised on
Earth Hour Blue platform for grassroots environmental projects run
by WWF. The movement also saw campaigns to help protect Australia's
Great Barrier Reef, the launch of a Blue Sky App in China, and the
delivery of thousands of wood efficient stoves to communities in
Earth Hour 2015 took place on Saturday, March 28, again between 8:30
and 9:30 pm local time. The tagline for the global campaign
was "Change Climate Change", returning to the movement's original
focus to initiate citizen action on global warming. A day before the
event, over 170 countries and territories had confirmed their
participation; with more than 1200 landmarks and close to 40 UNESCO
world heritage sites set for the switch off.
For the second year running,
Earth Hour Blue aims to raise funds for
WWF organized climate focused projects on a crowdfunding platform.
This year, crowdfunding projects include solar light distribution in
the Philippines and India, and wildlife based projects from
Colombia, Uganda and Indonesia.
Uniquely participating in the
Earth Hour activity are the inhabitants
of an island called
Sibuyan in the
Philippines who turned on their
lights to elevate the message of using renewable energy. The island's
source of electricity is a mini-hydro power plant.
Earth Hour 2016 was on Saturday, March 19, from 8:30 pm to
9:30 pm during participants' local time. It was also changed to
avoid coinciding with the Christian Holy Saturday, which fell on March
26 of that year. It was the 10th year anniversary of the campaign's
beginnings in Sydney, Australia. Östersund in Sweden cancelled the
2016 event, following a spate of sex attacks, highlighting safety as a
subject for discussion when saving resources. Almost
all the countries in the world observed Earth Hour.
Earth Hour occurred on Saturday, March 25.
Earth Hour 2018 took place on March 24, from 8:30 pm to
9:30 pm in participants' time, in order to avoid coinciding with
Holy Saturday which will fall on March 31.
Earth Hour 2019 is scheduled for March 30, from 8:30 pm to 9:30
Organizations that support Earth Hour
Earth Hour is supported around the world by UNESCO, the UN
Environment Programme, the International Trade Union
Confederation, Woodland, CBRE Group, the National Hockey
League, FIFA, UEFA, Hilton Worldwide, Girl Scouts of
the US, World Organization of the Scout Movement, HSBC,
World Association of the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, Philips,
IKEA, The Body Shop, ING Vysya Bank, and more.
Measurement of reduction in electricity use
Earth Hour Global FAQ page states:
Earth Hour does not purport to be an energy/carbon reduction exercise,
it is a symbolic action. Therefore, we do not engage in the
measurement of energy/carbon reduction levels for the hour itself.
Earth Hour is an initiative to encourage individuals, businesses and
governments around the world to take accountability for their
ecological footprint and engage in dialogue and resource exchange that
provides real solutions to our environmental challenges. Participation
Earth Hour symbolizes a commitment to change beyond the hour.
A 2014 study published in Energy Research and Social Science compiled
274 measurements of observed changes in electricity demand caused by
Earth Hour in 10 countries, spanning 6 years, and found that the
events reduced electricity consumption an average of 4%. The study
noted the policy challenge of converting Earth Hour's short-term
energy saving into longer-term actions, including sustained changes in
behaviour and investment.
Bjørn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, wrote, "It
is vital to make solar and other new technology cheaper than fossil
fuels quickly so we can turn off carbon energy sources for a lot
longer than one hour and keep the planet running... Fossil fuels
literally gave us an enlightenment, by lighting our world and giving
us protection from the fury of the elements. It is ironic that today's
pure symbolism should hark back to a darker age." Lomborg also
pointed out the feel-good factor
Earth Hour creates, noting that it is
an "ineffective feel good event" that makes people feel they are doing
something for the environment, while in reality the amount of carbon
emissions reduced by the earth hour is negligible.
Other criticisms of
Earth Hour have included the following:
Some critics point out that the reduction in power consumption during
Earth Hour itself is relatively insignificant. The Herald Sun
equated the power savings in the
Sydney central business district to
"taking 48,613 cars off the road for 1 hour".
Andrew Bolt pointed out that "A cut so tiny is
trivial – equal to taking six cars off the road for a year".
Other environmentalists have criticized Earth Hour's focus on
individual behaviour, when a small number of fossil fuel companies
have emitted the vast majority of man-made carbon emissions. Adam
McGibbon, writing for The Independent, criticized
Earth Hour for
releasing fossil fuel companies and politicians from their
responsibility to deal with climate change.
The Christian Science Monitor
The Christian Science Monitor said that most candles are made from
paraffin, a heavy hydrocarbon derived from crude oil, a fossil fuel,
and that depending on how many candles a person burns (if one uses
candles during Earth Hour), whether or not they normally use compact
fluorescent light bulbs, and what source of energy is used to produce
their electricity, in some cases, replacing light bulbs with candles
will cause an increase, instead of a decrease, in carbon dioxide
On March 29, 2009, one day after
Earth Hour 2009, Dân Trí Daily News
published an editorial expressing concern that many young people chose
to drive around the darkened city of
Hanoi for fun, exhausting
petroleum instead of electricity and resulting in long traffic
George Marshall of the Climate Outreach Information Network criticized
Earth Hour for "playing into the hands of (the critics of
environmentalists)," as darkness is symbolic of fear and decay. "The
overwhelming need at the moment is to inspire ordinary people with a
vision of a better world, to make them feel that action on climate
change is utterly desirable and positive.... the cultural resonance
(of Earth Hour) couldn't be any worse."
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Competitive Enterprise Institute has introduced an opposing Human
Achievement Hour in celebration of human progress in various fields of
industry, including technology, medicine, energy, and more. During
this hour, the Institute suggests that people celebrate by using
modern technology such as electricity, telecommunications and indoor
In 2009, economist
Ross McKitrick criticized the idea, saying,
"Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human
liberation in the 20th century.[...] The whole mentality around Earth
Hour demonizes electricity."
In March 2010, The Daily Telegraph quoted Ross Hayman, head of media
relations at the UK National Grid, as saying "it could therefore
result in an increase in carbon emissions" due to complications
related to rapidly lowering then raising electricity generation.
In February 2010, Rick Giles, president of ACT on Campus, the youth
wing of New Zealand's ACT Party, appeared on the morning television
show Sunrise to denounce
Earth Hour and instead suggested the
celebration of "Edison Hour". He argued that
Earth Hour is an
"anti-technology" cause, and that people will simply use candles
instead, which is undesirable as they are petroleum-based. He argued
that if we are heading for some kind of disaster, it makes sense to
use technology to combat this. Rick said "I think my argument is
so powerful that it's not necessary to talk about it".
Ayn Rand Institute
Ayn Rand Institute wrote, "Participants spend an enjoyable sixty
minutes in the dark, safe in the knowledge that the life-saving
benefits of industrial civilization are just a light switch away...
Forget one measly hour with just the lights off. How about Earth
Month... Try spending a month shivering in the dark without heating,
electricity, refrigeration; without power plants or generators;
without any of the labor-saving, time-saving, and therefore
life-saving products that industrial energy makes possible."
Expressing sarcastic support for Earth Hour, the pro-carbon Carbon
Sense Coalition wants
Earth Hour to be renamed "Blackout Night", and
to be held outside on the shortest and coldest day of the year "...to
prepare our population for the dark days ahead".
During the 2010
Earth Hour in the city of
Uusikaupunki in Finland, a
17-year-old female motorcyclist hit a 71-year-old man, who was walking
on the street instead of the sidewalk for an unknown reason. The man
died from his injuries, while the motorcyclist and her passenger were
uninjured. At the time of the accident the street lights had been
turned off as part of the Earth Hour. The police stated that the lack
of street lighting may have played a part in the accident, while the
mayor believed the city's street lights would have been too dim to
prevent it even if they had been on.
Jeremy Clarkson, ex-host of the
BBC motoring programme Top Gear,
claimed switching on all electrical items in his home as a protest
against the perceived impact of Earth Hour, claiming the event would
have little to no effect on attitudes towards climate change.
88888 Lights Out
Daylight saving time
National Dark-Sky Week
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