On Saturday, 28 March at 8:30 pm. local time, Earth Hour, an Australian-grown initiative and now one of the largest global grassroots movements for the environment, will bring people together for one hour to #SwitchOff lights in a symbolic call for more action on climate change.
Set to be the most important Earth Hour yet, 2020 is a pivotal year for the planet. Five vital climate events including COP26 - considered the most important since the Paris agreement in 2015 - are taking place across the globe this year with world leaders set to make decisions on environmental policy that will impact the planet for years to come.
In the wake of the catastrophic bushfires in Australia this summer, Earth Hour is urging Australians to raise their voice for nature and sign a petition calling for federal and state governments to take stronger climate action.
The impacts of the climate emergency were felt across the country and globe this summer. Bushfires burnt an area bigger than Ireland, took the lives of at least 33 people and an estimated 1.25 billion native animals. Beyond the fire-stricken areas, cities were shrouded in toxic smoke, droughts devastated farms and regional towns, the Great Barrier Reef showed signs of another mass coral bleaching event, and millions of people marched in capital cities around the world for stronger climate action.
“Australia’s biodiversity has taken an unprecedented hit during these devastating mega-fires. Our forests and wildlife can’t speak up or sign a petition, so we must do what’s right for the places and animals we love by calling on our governments to deliver immediate action on climate change,” said WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman.
The petition, to be delivered to 25 Australian political leaders in the lead up to Earth Hour, will call on federal and state governments to take urgent and direct action by:
Implementing legislated plans in the next 12 months to accelerate the transition to a net-zero carbon economy.
By the end of 2020, develop a costed industry plan for renewable exports to capitalise on Australia’s abundant renewable energy resources and position Australia as a renewable export powerhouse.
“This is an opportunity for Australians to have a voice in the climate debate and be a part of shaping the type of future we want to see. Nature is the planet’s life support system and gives us everything we need; from the air we breathe, to the water we drink, to the food we eat. If managed properly and protected, nature can provide an immediate, cost-effective, scalable and durable solution to address climate change,” said Mr O’Gorman.
An estimated 5 million Australians (1 in 5) will participate on 28 March, with over 500,000 signatures anticipated to be sent to Australian politicians in the lead up to Earth Hour. Households, businesses and iconic Australian landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge will turn off their lights for one hour during the event.
To sign up to Earth Hour visit WWF-Australia’s website: https://www.earthhour.org.au