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Earth Hour

Earth Hour's logo

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event is held worldwide annually encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the last Saturday in March, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.[1] It was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown to engage more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide. Today, Earth Hour engages a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues. The one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the now larger movement.

Earth Hour 2014 was on Saturday, March 29, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm in a location's local time. Earth Hour 2015 will be on Saturday, March 28, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. during participants' local time.[2]


  • History 1
    • Conception and Start: 2004-2007 1.1
    • 2008 1.2
      • 2008 participants 1.2.1
      • Scheduling 1.2.2
      • Reduced energy consumption 1.2.3
      • Celebrations around the world 1.2.4
        • Google
        • TV channels
    • 2009 1.3
      • Participation 1.3.1
      • Songs about Earth Hour 1.3.2
      • Participating television and radio stations 1.3.3
    • 2010 1.4
      • Participating TV channels and radio stations 1.4.1
      • Innovative environmental media 1.4.2
    • 2011 1.5
    • 2012 1.6
    • 2013 1.7
      • Participating countries 1.7.1
      • Participating organisations 1.7.2
    • 2014 1.8
    • 2015 1.9
  • I Will If You Will 2
  • Celebrity endorsements 3
  • Organisations that support Earth Hour 4
  • Measurement of reduction in electricity use 5
  • Criticism 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


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".[3] 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 concept to Fairfax Media who, along with Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, agreed to back the event.[3] The 2007 Earth Hour was held on 31 March 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.[4] After their successful event in October, the organisers decided to rally behind the Earth Hour being planned for March 2008.[5]


Overview of Sydney during Earth Hour 2008

Earth Hour 2008 was held internationally on March 29, 2008 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time, marking the first anniversary of the event. With 35 countries around the world participating as official flagship cities and over 400 cities also supporting, Earth Hour 2008 was celebrated on all seven continents. Landmarks all around the world turned off their non-essential lighting for Earth Hour, including the Sydney Opera House (Sydney, Australia), Empire State Building (New York City, USA), Sears Tower (now Willis Tower, Chicago, USA), National Monument (Jakarta, Indonesia), Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, USA), Bank of America Plaza (Atlanta, USA), Space Needle (Seattle, USA), Table Mountain (Cape Town, South Africa), the Colosseum (Rome, Italy), Azrieli Center (Tel Aviv, Israel), Royal Castle (Stockholm, Sweden), the CN Tower (Toronto, Canada), SM Mall of Asia, SM Science Discovery Center (Manila, Philippines), Suva (Fiji), Nidaros Cathedral (Trondheim, Norway), Petronas Towers (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), KL Tower (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Wat Arun Temple (Bangkok, Thailand), The London City Hall (London, England) and the Royal Liver Building (Liverpool, United Kingdom),

The official website for the event,, received over 6.7 million unique visitors in the week leading up to Earth Hour. Other websites took part in the event, with Google's homepage going "dark" on the day Earth Hour took place.

According to a Zogby International online survey 36 million people participated in Earth Hour 2008. The survey also showed there was a 4 percentage point increase in awareness of environmental issues such as climate change, directly after the event.

2008 participants

Earth Hour 2008 included 26 major cities worldwide and 300 smaller towns shutting off their lights.[6]


Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House were darkened during Earth Hour 2007.

Since Earth Hour for 2008 was on a Saturday, many high schools in the Greater Toronto Area participated by turning off half the lights in classrooms during the last hour of school on Friday, March 28, 2008. Although the tagline of Earth Hour 2008 was officially, "See the difference you can make", the official radio advertisement ended with the tagline, "Dark city, bright idea."

Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv darkened for Earth Hour 2010.

Tel Aviv scheduled their Earth Hour for Thursday 27 March 2008 to avoid conflict with Sabbath.[7] Dublin moved their Earth Hour to between 9 and 10 p.m. due to their northern geographical location.[8]

Reduced energy consumption

Colosseum darkened for Earth Hour 2008
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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11] The maximum demand drop of around 39 MW was experienced at 8:14 p.m. in Metro Manila and of around 116 MW at 8:34 p.m. in the Luzon grid.[12]

Ontario used approximately 900 megawatt-hours less electrical energy during Earth Hour. At one point, Toronto, Ontario saw an 8.7% reduction in consumption as compared to a typical March Saturday night.[13]

Ireland, as a whole, had a reduction in electricity use of about 1.5% for the evening.[14] In the three-hour period between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., there was a reduction of 50 megawatts, saving 150 megawatt-hours, or approximately 60 tonnes of carbon dioxide.[15]

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.[16]

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 during Earth Hour was 335 megawatts, higher than the 328 megawatt average of the previous two Saturdays.[17] 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.[18]

The worst result was from Calgary, Canada. The city's power consumption actually went up 3.6% at the hour's peak electricity demand.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21][22]

Celebrations around the world

A web screenshot of Google Canada's 'darkened' homepage on 29 March 2008.

Earth Hour has also received free publicity from the

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • Earth Hour
  • Earth Hour LIVE
  • The Official Youtube Channel for Earth Hour
  • Earth Hour is all wrong. We need more electricity, not less. - Slate Magazine—Bjørn Lomborg—Sunday, March 17, 2013

External links

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  2. ^ a b Celebrating Earth Hour Earth Hour/WWF Website
  3. ^ a b "history". Earth Hour. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  4. ^ John M. Glionna (19 September 2007). "Hour leg of darkness".  
  5. ^ "Moving forward | Lights Out San Francisco". 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  6. ^ "World Cities Shut Lights for Earth Hour 2008". Associated Press. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Ross, Oakland (March 28, 2008). "Tel Aviv rock concert gets power from pedals".  
  8. ^ Winsa, Patty (March 27, 2008). "Someone get the lights".  
  9. ^ "Canadians go dark with world for Earth Hour".  
  10. ^ "Lights out campaign disappointing: Bangkok helps save very little energy".  
  11. ^ "Earth Hour made dent in power use".  
  12. ^ "WWF calls for ‘lights out’ event in 2009".  
  13. ^ Gorrie, Peter (March 2008). "Toronto hits energy target".  
  14. ^ "'"Ireland uses less power for 'Earth Hour.  
  15. ^ a b "Call for continuation of Earth Hour ethos". March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  16. ^ "Dubai slashes energy use for Earth Hour".  
  17. ^ Lights on, power use up for Earth Hour. Kelly Andrew. The Dominion Post. Monday, 31 March 2008.
  18. ^ Gorrie, Peter (2008-03-31). "Where do we go from here?".  
  19. ^ "Calgary's Earth Hour effort uses more power, not less".  
  20. ^ "Edmontonians cut power consumption by 1.5 per cent during Earth Hour".  
  21. ^ Nolais, Jeremy. "Earth Hour sees little change in Calgary electricity use | Metro". Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  22. ^ "CBC News report 24 March 2013". 2013-03-24. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  23. ^ Potter, Mitch (March 2008). "Scandinavia darkens". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  24. ^ "Furtado headlines free Earth Hour concert in Toronto".  
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  26. ^ "David Dunlap Observatory".  
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  41. ^ "U.N.'s Participation in Earth Hour Is Full of Hot Air, Critics Say – United Nations". 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
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  43. ^ "Record power savings for RP in Earth Hour 2009". Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  44. ^ "CTV Toronto – Earth Hour prompts 15 per cent T.O. power drop – CTV News". Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  45. ^ "Tjugofem villors årliga elförbrukning" (in Svenska). 2009-03-28. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
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  50. ^ "Israel to mark 3rd Earth Hour".  
  51. ^ "Earth Hour Needs You! – Earth Hour News". 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  52. ^ "La Hora de la Tierra 2010".  
  53. ^ [Trở về] (2010-03-28). "Tiết kiệm 450 triệu đồng trong giờ Trái đất". VnExpress. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  54. ^ Alastair Jamieson (March 27, 2010). Big Ben in darkness as 4,000 cities switch off for Earth Hour. The Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
  55. ^ Mr President joins Earth Hour in Hanoi, VnExpress, by: Khánh Chi, date: 2010-03-26. (Vietnamese)
  56. ^ "Earth Hour Fertilising Plant Spikes". The Inspiration Room. 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  57. ^ "about". Earth Hour. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  58. ^ "#Earthhour Heats Up On Social Media". Earth Hour. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  59. ^ India switches off on March 26 from 8.30 pm and beyond, 
  60. ^ Rustamov, Elshan. "Девичья башня на час останется без света ради природы". Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  61. ^ Gatdulla and Villanueva, Rodina and Donabelle. "Earth Hour comes early in Metro". Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  62. ^ "Vietnam Foreign Press Center – Vietnam saves 400,000 kWh of power during Earth Hour". 2011-03-29. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  63. ^ "No Energy for Earth Hour". March 28, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  64. ^ "Earth Hour". Earth Hour. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  65. ^ "earthhour". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  66. ^ Ridley, Andy. "My Challenge to the Earth Hour Community". Earth Hour. Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  67. ^ my paper Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 (2012-02-21). "Earth Hour to move HQ to Singapore". Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  68. ^ "Long-Awaited Law On Protection Of Seas Finally Passed In Russian Parliament". Earth Hour. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  69. ^ Malezer, Rosie. "Dare the World to Save the Planet". Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  70. ^ "Uganda Unveils The World’S First Earth Hour Forest". Earth Hour. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  71. ^ "Botswana To Plant One Million Trees To Restore Forests". Earth Hour. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  72. ^ Location Settings (2013-02-27). "Earth Hour spreads". News24. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  73. ^ "More Than Lights Off". Earth Hour. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  74. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Updated, Prahlad (2013-03-23). "Earth Hour today will be a 2 billion people event - News Oneindia". Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  75. ^ "وبگاه رسمی ساعت زمین در ایران". Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  76. ^ "TIME-LAPSE: Earth Hour 2013". Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  77. ^ Iris Mejia-Acosta, "SM Lanang Premierre, together with the other SM Malls, switched off a significant percentage of their lights to be one with the global call to take a stand to save the planet", Pinay Ads, April 2, 2013
  78. ^ "'"Bahrain landmarks switch off for 'Earth Hour. 2013-03-23. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  79. ^ "Earth Hour sees landmarks go dark in Abu Dhabi". 2013-03-23. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  80. ^ a b c d "Iconic Landmarks In SoCal To Go Dark For Earth Hour « CBS Los Angeles". 2013-03-23. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  81. ^ "MTS Centre, government buildings going dark for Earth Hour | CTV Winnipeg News". 2013-03-23. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  82. ^ "Lights out for Hamilton during Earth Hour Saturday - Hamilton - CBC News". CBC News. 
  83. ^ "Jarðarstund án ljósa". Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  84. ^ "BARCLAYS CENTER TO GO DARK FOR EARTH HOUR". Barclays Press (Barclays). 28 March 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  85. ^ "Earth Hour 2014 Participants". World Wide Life. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  86. ^ "Jersey to join Earth Hour". 20 March 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  87. ^ "Celebrating Earth Hour". Earth Hour. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  88. ^
  89. ^ Soloman, David (2007-05-09). "Rage, rage against dimming of the light". The Australian. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  90. ^ Bolt, Andrew (2008-03-28). "Earth Hour coverage should be grounded", Herald Sun, Retrieved 2011-03-20
  91. ^ Hour of no power increases emissions, The Australian, March 27, 2009
  92. ^ "Q&A: Why Bjorn Lomborg won’t be turning off the lights during Earth Hour". Mark Gollom, CBC News (29 March 2014). CBC News. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  93. ^ Does lighting candles for Earth Hour defeat the purpose?, Christian Science Monitor, March 27, 2009
  94. ^ Cái nhìn khác trong Giờ Trái đất, Dân Trí Daily News, by Cường Cao, date: 2009-03-29. (Vietnamese)
  95. ^  
  96. ^ "'"Earth Hour 'will not cut carbon emissions. The Daily Telegraph (London). 2010-03-27. 
  97. ^ "I think my argument is so powerful that it's not necessary to talk about it". YouTube. 2010-03-29. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  98. ^ Minton, Michelle (2009-03-19). """Announces "Human Achievement Hour" to Coincide with "Earth Hour. CEI. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  99. ^ "This ‘Earth Hour,’ leave the lights on – FP Comment". Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  100. ^ The Real Meaning of Earth Hour, Ayn Rand Institute, March 23, 2009
  101. ^ Turn out the lights? Not everyone's on board Earth Hour, Christian Science Monitor, March 28, 2009
  102. ^ "Earth Hour or Blackout Night?". Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  103. ^ "Mies kuoli moottoripyörän alle pimeystempauksen pimentämällä tiellä".  
  104. ^ "Kaupunki sammutti katuvalot Earth Hourin ajaksi – Mies jäi moottoripyörän alle pimeällä tiellä ja kuoli".  
  105. ^ The Times (London) . 


See also

  • 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."[91]
  • Placebo Effect of Earth Hour, several environmentalists such as Bjørn also point out to 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.[92]
  • 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 emissions.[93]
  • On 29 March 2009, one day after Earth Hour 2009, Dân Trí daily newspaper published an article about the other side of Earth Hour. It was concerned that many young people chose to drive around the darkened cities for fun, exhausting petroleum instead of electricity and resulting in long-time traffic jams.[94]
  • 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."[95]
  • 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.[96]
  • 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.[97] Rick said "I think my argument is so powerful that it's not necessary to talk about it".
  • An alternative celebration of "Human Achievement Hour" was promoted by the libertarian think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute to celebrate the advancement of human prosperity.[98] Participants in this celebration were asked to "celebrate the achievements of humanity such as eating dinner, seeing a film, driving around, keeping the heat on in your home".[99]
  • The [100]
  • 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 " prepare our population for the dark days ahead".[101][102]
  • 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.[103][104]
  • Jeremy Clarkson, host of the BBC motoring programme Top Gear, confessed to 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.[105]

The criticisms of Earth Hour include:

Some critics point out that the reduction in power consumption in most cases is indistinguishable from zero.[89] The Herald Sun equated the power savings in the Sydney central business district to "taking 48,613 cars off the road for 1 hour." Critics, most notably Australian Columnist Andrew Bolt pointed out that "A cut so tiny [48,613 cars off the road for 1 hour] is trivial – equal to taking six cars off the road for a year".[90]


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%. [88] The study noted the policy challenge of converting Earth Hour's short-term energy saving into longer-term actions, including sustained changes in behavior and investment.

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 in Earth Hour symbolises a commitment to change beyond the hour.[87]

The Earth Hour Global FAQ page states:

Measurement of reduction in electricity use

Earth Hour is supported around the world by Woodland, CBRE, the National Hockey League, FIFA, UEFA, Manchester United, Hilton Hotels, Girl Scouts of the USA, World Organisation of the Scouts Movement, UNESCO, UN Environment Programme, the International Trade Union Confederation, HSBC, World Association of the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, SASKEN, Miss Multinational, LUSH Cosmetics, Philips, Ikea, The Body Shop, ING Vysya Bank and more.

Organisations that support Earth Hour

Earth Hour has been supported around the world by Nelson Mandela, supermodel Miranda Kerr, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo, former US Vice President Al Gore, the President of Fiji Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, André Kuipers and the International Space Station, actress Isabel Lucas, TV stars Bill and Giuliana Rancic, Yoko Ono, Stephen Fry, Cate Blanchett, Coldplay, among many others.

Actress and co-founder of The Honest Company, Jessica Alba, was the Earth Hour 2013 global ambassador. Alba along with the other co-founders of eco-friendly family brand The Honest Company, Christopher Gavigan, Sean Kane and Brian Lee, are lending their support to the cause through a fun ‘I Will If You Will’ challenge, in line with the company’s focus on promoting health and sustainability. They will let their kids dress the entire Honest team, for work for one day if 10,000 people commit to switch to using non-toxic products in their homes.

Celebrity endorsements

"I Will If You Will" (IWIYW) is an Earth Hour campaign to encourage positive action for the environment. The actions required are up to the individual or group. They could be big or small and it might be a simple lifestyle change or perhaps something that leads to political change. The campaign intends for people to become the inspiration to their friends, family, colleagues and communities by sharing what they’re willing to do to protect the planet. Challenges can be created or accepted on Earth Hour's YouTube channel.

I Will If You Will

The official Earth Hour website has announced that Earth Hour 2015 will take place on Saturday, March 28, again between 8:30 and 9:30 pm local time.[2]


Earth Hour 2014 took place on Saturday, March 29, during the same 8:30 to 9:30 pm local timeslot.


Multinational participation:

Participating organisations

It is being celebrated in countries including:

Participating countries

At the global media launch for Earth Hour 2013, CEO and Co-Founder Andy Ridley spoke about the movement's significant environmental outcomes beyond the hour: "People from all walks of life, from all nations around the world, are the lifeblood of the Earth Hour interconnected global community. They have proven time and time again that if you believe in something strongly enough, you can achieve amazing things. These stories aren't unique, this is happening all over the world," he said.[73]

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. He will kick off his IWIYW challenge by planting 100,000 trees in a severely degraded area in Southern part of the country called Goodhope. The remaining trees will be planted in other parts of the country which are also in need of land rehabilitation, such as in the North Eastern and Western part of Botswana.[71] By Earth Hour 2013, the 'Ini Aksiku! Mana Aksimu?' campaign (localised Indonesian version of "I Will If You Will") led to a revolutionary use of Twitter to mobilise thirty cities across Indonesia to take ongoing action beyond the hour. The "I Will If You Will" campaign spread to more than 50 countries, generating momentum behind Earth Hour's push to be an ongoing movement for change.[72]

In 2013, the world's first Earth Hour Forest began in Uganda, as a first step to fight the 6000 hectares of deforestation that occur in the country every month. The WWF-Uganda team identified close to 2700 hectares of degraded land, and used the I Will If You Will concept to challenge businesses, government officials and individuals to fill it with at least 500,000 trees during the year. Standard Chartered Bank-Uganda pledged to help fill the forest with more than 250,000 trees.[70]

Earth Hour 2013 was held across the world on Saturday, March 23 at 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time[69] to avoid taking place after European Summer Time begins, ensuring the greatest impact of the lights off event. It is also to avoid coinciding with Western Christianity Holy Saturday, which falls on March 30 of that year.

Italy, Verona, Arena with backlight off on square Bra, in the bottom Town Hall in 2013 WWF Verona Paolo Villa
Italy, Verona, Arena with backlight on on square Bra, in the bottom the Town Hall in 2013 WWF Verona Paolo Villa


The potential impact of the campaign was felt in December 2012, when the Russian Parliament passed a strengthened law to protect its country's seas from oil pollution after a 122,000 strong petition was presented to the State Duma after Earth Hour's I Will If You Will campaign in 2012.[68]

As in the previous year, YouTube changed its logo and added a light switch feature near video titles, so that users can change the background color from white to black. There were 4.6 million hits on the platform during the week of Earth Hour, with more than 200,000 people personally pledging to take a direct action beyond the hour.

Further proof of Earth Hour's change in direction came when it was announced its global headquarters was moving from Sydney to Singapore. A launch event took place at ION Orchard on 20 February 2012, where it was announced that the move was supported by Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB).[67]

Executive Director and Co-Founder Andy Ridley said, "Earth Hour's challenge is no longer to connect people; the challenge is to offer a reason to connect. Any movement of change begins with symbolism – it's a needed step to prove enough people care about an issue. Earth Hour is past the beginning now, and lots of people are switching their lights off every year in March. We're now at the stage of taking it beyond the hour."[66]

In February, Earth Hour launched its 2012 campaign "I Will If You Will", with the intention of engaging its growing global community to go beyond the hour and coordinate efforts publicly through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and e-mail. Using a dedicated YouTube platform,[65] IWIYW asks Earth Hour's digital community to inspire people from all corners of the globe to take sustainability actions, and to share their commitment to the environment with their own social media networks.

Earth Hour 2012 was observed on 31 March 2012 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (participant's local time).[64] 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.


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.[63]

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 can change the background color from white to black.

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, which is one fifth less than the previous year's. Vietnam managed to save 500 million VND (US$23,809) thanks to the saved power.[62]

The Philippines, which has been an active participant of the Earth Hour, had an early "earth hour" when power was accidentally interrupted,[61] plunging 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 the Philippines, ABS-CBN and Cartoon Network halted their transmissions for an hour.

All seven continents joined in with turning their lights off. In Azerbaijan, Maiden Tower darkened for Earth Hour.[60]

In India, Earth Hour 2011 was held on 26 March 2011 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. IST, flagged off by the Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dixit and Earth Hour 2011 Ambassador and Bollywood Heroine Vidya Balan in the presence of Jim Leape, Director General, WWF International.[59] Rosebowl channel suspended broadcasting from 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. to mark the observance of Earth Hour.

In 2011, some of the world's most well known landmarks, including the Forbidden City, Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, Golden Gate Bridge, Table Mountain, Christ the Redeemer statue and Sydney Opera House switched off their lights for Earth Hour's global "lights out" event.

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. It took place in a record 5,251 cities and towns in 135 countries and territories in all seven continents.[57] 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 million.[58]


To ensure the spike was completely friendly environmentally, the agency partnered with printer STI Lilyfield to invent an organic printer's ink containing natural plant fertilizer derived from Durvillaea potatorum and extract of Ascophyllum nodosum to promote healthy plant growth and improve resistance to insect and fungal attack. Printed on 100% FSC-certified paper, this ink fertilized the pot plants as the spike biodegraded naturally in the plant's soil.

Australian advertising agency Wunderman Sydney produced a marketing piece to support Earth Hour, their pro-bono client since 2009. To encourage businesses to participate in Earth Hour 2010, five-thousand 'Plant Spikes'[56] were produced and distributed to offices around Australia. The spike was designed to be inserted in office pot plants by plant hire company TPR Group as they serviced plants in businesses nationwide.

Innovative environmental media

  • National Geographic Channel Asia and Cartoon Network both suspended broadcasting from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Philippines GMA Network turn off lights in their building from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m and ABS-CBN stop broadcasting during the earth hour as well as closing the lights.
  • Vietnam's FBNC channel joined hands with Earth Hour Vietnam.
  • The Agenda with Steve Paikin on TVOntario ran its full program running only on candlelight again.
  • The Agenda with Steve Paikin on mnit ran its full program running only on candlelight again.

Participating TV channels and radio stations

Earth Hour has garnered support from many corporations including Coca-Cola Enterprises, Wells Fargo, IKEA, HSBC, PwC, Accenture and Nokia Siemens Networks.

Celebrity Earth Hour ambassadors included South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, President of Vietnam Nguyễn Minh Triết,[55] and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

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.[54]

In the Philippines, 1,067 towns and cities pledged participation in 2010 and over 15 million Filipinos participated in the event.

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.[53]

Earth Hour will be carried out in practical ways, as cities and landmarks apply the core principle of turning off the lights to their everyday routine. 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 will now start powering down each night around 9 p.m. instead of 11 p.m.

In the United States polling shows 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 Strip, the Empire State Building and Niagara Falls.

126 countries participated in Earth Hour 2010.[52]

Earth Hour 2010 was reportedly the biggest Earth Hour yet, aiming to garner more than the one billion participant goal of 2009's Earth Hour.[51]

Earth Hour 2010 was held from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time, 27 March.[49] In Israel, the hour was held on 22 April.[50]

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
The metal structure of the greenhouses of the curitiban Botanic Garden (Curitiba, Paraná, Southern Brazil), with its lights off on 27 March 2010


Malaysia's 8TV halted transmission for one hour starting from 20:30 [48]

Participating television and radio stations

  • ["Earth Hour" by Dash Berlin.]
  • WWF Earth Hour Anthem "When the lights go down" by Andrew Huang
  • "Better Day" performed at the first Earth Hour celebration in Sydney by Mitch Butler
  • 2013 Austrian Earth Hour Song "Earth Is Crying - Dry Her Tears"
  • Philippines Earth Hour Song "If we try" written by Reev Robledo, performed by Percival & Ninna Juan-del Mundo
  • "Turn out the Lights" by Australian artist, Elektra Vine

Songs about Earth Hour

96 countries on 6 continents participated in the event in 2009.


The 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.[47]

According to Vietnam Electricity Company, Vietnam's electricity demand fell 140 MWh during Earth Hour.

Swedish electricity operator Svenska Kraftnät recorded a 2.1% decrease in power consumption from its projected figure between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. The following hour, the corresponding number was 5%.[45] This is equivalent to the consumption of approximately half a million households out of the total 4.5 million households in Sweden.[46]

The 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.[44]

Reports show that the United States topped the Earth Hour participation with an estimated 80,000,000 people, 318 cities and 8 states participating. The Philippines saw participation from 647 cities and towns; over 15 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.[42][43]

Among the participants in 2009 was, for the first time, the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.[40] The U.N. conservatively estimates that its participation will save $102 in energy.[41]

Earth Hour 2009 was from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time, March 28, 2009. 88 countries and 4,159 cities participated in Earth Hour 2009,[37] ten times more cities than Earth Hour 2008 had (2008 saw 400 cities participate).[38] One billion votes was the stated aim for Earth Hour 2009,[39] in the context of the pivotal 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

To raise awareness for Earth Hour 2009 during the week leading up to it, Arla Foods coloured their Swedish milk cartons black-grey, as distinct from the typical white-green.


TV channels

though they are not currently in popular use. [33]

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