On Saturday, 28 March at 8:30 p.m., New Zealand was one of the first nations to mark Earth Hour - an event where businesses, organisations, cities, and individuals switched off their lights to invite urgent action against nature loss and climate change.
At a time when people across the globe are battling a health crisis of an unforeseen scale, and many countries are under complete lockdown, supporters rose to the challenge to participate in the first ever 100% digital Earth Hour from the comfort of their homes. Millions of people, from 190 countries and territories, stood in solidarity for the planet to beautifully exemplify the resilience of the human spirit amid a crisis.
Auckland’s Sky Tower was among the more than 100 iconic landmarks supporting the global initiative, including the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Tokyo Skytree, the Colosseum in Rome, Taipei 101, Beijing National Stadium, the Ali Qapu Palace, the Hellenic Parliament in Greece, Panama Canal, Moscow Kremlin, and the Tower Bridge in London.
Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, said, "The success of this year's Earth Hour is a testimony to the incredible human spirit and the power of collective action. At a time when the world is facing an unprecedented challenge in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, the need to unite and make our voices heard for a more harmonious relationship with the planet has never been greater. People from across the globe responded to this call for action by coming out in support for protecting the planet, and inspiring others to commit to halting nature loss with innovative online campaigns and events. I truly applaud their unflinching commitment for a sustainable future. As Earth Hour 2020 comes to a close, I urge you all to continue to work in solidarity with each other to safeguard the future of our planet. Let's look after one another and our one shared home.''
“This crisis is a reminder of the fragility of our planet and an indication of the imbalance between nature and people. It is up to all of us to restore this balance. Together, it’s possible to secure a healthy, sustainable, and fairer future for all,” says WWF-New Zealand CEO, Livia Esterhazy.
Beyond switching off the lights, supporters are encouraged to take action for nature year-round and show support online at Voice for the Planet. These signatures will be presented to world leaders at critical global conferences this year to help secure a New Deal for Nature and People to address nature loss, reverse environmental decline, and safeguard all of our futures.