Brussels, Belgium - 21 March 2018
On Saturday, WWF's Earth Hour is set to unite millions of people in 180 countries and territories worldwide in their commitment to the planet once again. As we face the interlinked challenges of climate change and plummeting biodiversity, the world's largest grassroots movement for the environment aims to mobilise individuals, businesses and governments to help build a healthy, sustainable planet for all.
In Europe, landmarks such as the Colosseum in Rome, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and London's Westminster Abbey will switch off their lights for Earth Hour. In Brussels, the EU institution buildings will do the same and European Commissioners and MEPs have been showing their support for Earth Hour on social media.
Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International said:
"Biodiversity and nature underpin our lives, our economies, our health, our well-being, our happiness. It is the foundation of our living planet. Today, as we push the planet and its natural systems to the edge, Earth Hour is our chance to use our power, as individuals and as a collective, to demand and take action to protect this web of life in return for all it gives us".
Andrea Kohl, Director of WWF European Policy Office said:
"Climate change is ravaging our natural world and is a key driver of biodiversity loss. That's why we are asking Europe's decision-makers to show their support for climate action for this year's Earth Hour. The EU must uphold the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global temperature rise to 1.5°C. For this it needs to end the use of fossil fuels rapidly, starting with coal by 2030, and publish a 2050 Roadmap to show how we can get to a net zero carbon economy".
In 2018, WWF and Earth Hour teams around the world will be using the movement to highlight the environmental issues most relevant in their country or region. In Colombia, people will call for the country to commit to zero deforestation by 2020. French Polynesia is expected to move to protect 5 million square kilometres of its seas to preserve ocean ecosystems. In Guatemala, citizens will raise their voice on the importance of freshwater conservation and in India, people will pledge to shift toward sustainable lifestyles.
Supporters can visit connect2earth.org to share what biodiversity and nature means to them in the places they live in and find out more about it. Created in partnership with the secretariat of the United Nations Convention of Biological Diversity, the platform aims to build mass awareness on the values of biodiversity and nature by kick-starting global conversations on issues such as climate action, healthy oceans and sustainable business. The project is supported by Germany's Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety with funding from the International Climate Initiative.
Notes to editors:
- Earth Hour website: www.earthhour.org
- Link to Earth Hour's 2018 music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZYiJLH2toY&feature=youtu.be
- Link to photos of previous Earth Hour events and impacts: https://hive.panda.org/Share/wdv0o80b113lxo2s2s6mk5xi6qvn185j
- To know more about WWF's work on climate and biodiversity, please visit:
For more information, please contact:
Senior Communications Officer
WWF European Policy Office
+32 473 573 137
WWF International: firstname.lastname@example.org; +65 9060 1957
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
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About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is WWF's global environmental movement. Born in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become the world's largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring individuals, communities, businesses and organizations in more than 180 countries and territories to take tangible climate action for over a decade. The movement recognizes the role of individuals in changing climate change and harnesses the collective power of its millions of supporters to shine a light on climate action.
About the Convention on Biological Diversity
Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 196 Parties so far, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. For more information visit: www.cbd.int. For additional information, please contact: David Ainsworth on +1 514 287 7025 or at email@example.com; or Johan Hedlund on +1 514 287 6670 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the International Climate Initiative (IKI)
Since 2008, the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) has been financing climate and biodiversity projects in developing and newly industrialising countries, as well as in countries in transition. In the early years of the programme, its financial resources came from the proceeds of auctioning allowances under the emissions trading scheme. To ensure financial continuity, further funds were made available through the Special Energy and Climate Fund. Both funding mechanisms are now part of the Federal Environment Ministry's regular budget. The IKI is a key element of Germany's climate financing and the funding commitments in the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Initiative places clear emphasis on climate change mitigation, adaptation to the impacts of climate change and the protection of biological diversity. These efforts provide various co-benefits, particularly the improvement of living conditions in partner countries.