This Saturday, March 27 at 8:30 p.m UAE time, Earth Hour will virtually bring together millions of people, businesses, and leaders from around the world to shine a spotlight on the urgent need to address nature loss and climate change.
With evidence pointing towards a close link between nature’s destruction and rising incidences of infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19, Earth Hour 2021 will unite people online to speak up for nature. This global event comes ahead of key moments when world leaders will take critical decisions on nature, climate change and sustainable development setting the course of our future.
The occurrence of several catastrophic incidents last year including extreme weather events, devastating wildfires and the COVID-19 outbreak highlighted that preventing nature loss is crucial for safeguarding our future. A global assessment of biodiversity targets showed that the world failed to meet the 2020 deadline for achieving the targets set for preventing nature loss a decade ago, making Earth Hour 2021 a pivotal opportunity for civil society organisations, individuals, businesses and environmentalists to call on world leaders for setting nature on a path to recovery by 2030.
“Healthy, natural ecosystems are the cornerstone of thriving, equitable and sustainable societies. Our current socio-economic models are leading to the devastating destruction of nature which is increasing our vulnerability to pandemics, accelerating climate change, and placing livelihoods at risk,’ says Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International.
‘2021 is a crucial year for humanity. As the world tries to turn the tide and recover from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild itself, we need to put nature at the centre of our recovery efforts to future proof our economies and societies. Earth Hour allows us to unite and call for urgent action to reverse nature loss and secure a nature-positive world by 2030.”
Over the years, Earth Hour’s ‘lights-off’ moment saw entire streets, buildings, landmarks, and city skylines go dark – an unmissable sight that drew public attention to nature loss and the climate crisis. This year, the many of the UAE’s major landmarks and businesses will once again support Earth Hour by tuning off their lights for an hour on Saturday night.
In the past decade, Earth Hour has inspired global initiatives for the protection of nature, climate and the environment, helping drive awareness, action and policy change. The movement helped in the creation of a 3.5 million hectares of protected marine area in Argentina; a 2,700-hectare Earth Hour forest in Uganda; secured new legislation for the protection of seas and forests in Russia; pushed for a ban on single-use plastics and Styrofoam products in the Ecuadorian capital, and initiated the planting of 20,000 mangrove seedlings in 13 cities in Indonesia.
This year – amidst the current global circumstances – in addition to switching off our lights, Earth Hour invites us to take part in the first ever ‘Virtual Spotlight ‘ – raising awareness and creating the same unmissable sight online, so that the world sees our planet, the issues we face, and our place within it, in a new light.
The goal is simple: to put the spotlight on our planet and make it the most watched video in the world on March 27, so that as many people as possible hear the Earth Hour message.
Visit www.earthhour.org to find out more about events happening this Earth Hour around the world.