Written by Debra Morrall
Millions of people in 187 countries around the world countries around the world came together to raise awareness of climate change, by switching off their lights for Earth Hour. In the UK alone, almost ten million people turned off the lights in their homes and their places of work whilst more than 400 significant landmarks including Tower Bridge, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace all fell into darkness in support of a global focus on biodiversity – specifically forests, oceans and wildlife conservation.
News bulletins showed the ripple effect, which started at 8.30pm (local time) in Sydney with the iconic Opera House and followed the sunset west through Japan, China, India, Russia, Germany, France and the UK before heading to the US.
Video credits to Earth Hour
Hailed as the largest grass roots movement for climate change, Earth Hour sent an incredibly powerful message to the world, that we all need to wake up to the damage that is being done to our planet. Global leaders put their voices out there to support Earth Hour with French President Emanuel Macron urging people to show that they were “willing to join the fight for nature”. He continued by saying that, “The time for denial is long past. We are losing not only our battle against climate change, but also our battle against the collapse of biodiversity.” India’s Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said that Earth Hour’s 60 minutes were, “An opportunity to adopt a shifting of the consumption culture, and behaviour change towards sustainability.” In the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted Downing Street in darkness, in support of Earth Hour.
In recent months, graphic images have emerged of plastic in our oceans, threatening sealife. It has been estimated that in Europe alone over 26 million tons of plastic waste is being harvested every year. In response to this, Europe has pledged to ban single use cups by 2030. We have also seen picture of ice plates cracking in Antarctica, causing famine in certain animal species and changing behaviour patterns as a result of an inability to travel across frozen seas to find food. Changing weather patterns have also been attributed to a rise in greenhouse gases whilst a growth in the number of children being born with respiratory problems is being blamed on NOx from diesel cars.
Photo credits to Zak Noyle
Photo credits to Daniel Dancer
Whichever way you look at it, unification is the only way to move forward and global agreement for change will be the significant driver to make that change happen. Bringing together companies, organisations and individuals that are all striving for permanent solutions to the problem of climate change, Kris Grove, Global Marketing Director at Airlite, is hopeful that a movement that has started in the private sector will bring the real decision makers in every country around the world, to the table to support and implement those necessary changes.
Earth Hour is a voice; the voice of millions of people worldwide who are all collectively calling for change. Ahead of launching its 2019 campaign, step back from your own life and look at what you can do on a personal and professional level to begin to instigate change in your own back yard.
Change begins with you.