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The Biggest Earth Hour Yet

Millions Around the World Come Together for the Biggest Earth Hour Yet

27 March 2018

Millions of people came together this weekend for the biggest Earth Hour in history. On Saturday night, people from a record 188 countries and territories participated, while close to 18,000 landmarks and monuments around the world switched off their lights in a symbolic show of solidarity to protect the planet.

Starting in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become the world's largest grassroots movement for the environment.

“Once again, the people have spoken through Earth Hour,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International. “The record participation in this year’s Earth Hour, from skylines to timelines, is a powerful reminder that people want to connect to Earth. People are demanding commitment now on halting climate change and the loss of nature. The stakes are high and we need urgent action to protect the health of the planet for a safe future for us and all life on Earth."

"The science is clear: the loss of nature is a global crisis. Wildlife has declined by close to 60 per cent in just over 40 years. Our planet is at a crossroads and we cannot have a prosperous future on a depleted, degraded planet. Together as a global community we can turn things around. People must mobilize and join governments and companies toward stronger action on biodiversity and nature - the time to act is now," added Lambertini.

Livia Esterhazy, CEO of WWF-New Zealand added: "Our planet and this country's diversity is at extreme risk from the changing climate. For example, we know that an increase of temperature to an average 21 degrees Celsius will result in tuatara eggs turning male, which can only mean catastrophic outcomes for that species. And with 80 per cent of all our native species living in or near the ocean, they are extremely vulnerable to changing water temperatures and sea-level rises. We all need to take action to save our precious planet, and for many of us this journey starts with simple events and symbolic actions such as Earth Hour."

While no major landmarks in New Zealand switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2018, thousands of individuals across the country participated in the event.

"Earth Hour has been huge here in the past, and the time is right for Kiwis to get involved on a grand scale again" Livia continued. "Over the years, we've seen the lights go off at Auckland's Sky Tower; Wellington City Council; Zealandia; the British High Commission; and dozens of businesses around the country who want to show support for action against climate change. As the first major country to cross the international date line, we need to be sure it is Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Christchurch, Dunedin and Tauranga that are the first cities in the world to switch off for Earth Hour 2019."

The next Earth Hour will take place on Saturday 30 March 2019 at 8:30 p.m. local time.


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