Earth Hour 2021: Shining A Spotlight On Our Ailing Planet
Urgent action needed to set nature on a path of recovery
Scientific evidence shows nature loss is linked to an increased risk of pandemics.
Earth Hour 2021 comes ahead of key events where decisions will be taken by world leaders on climate action, sustainable development, and nature to define our future and the future of the planet.
Our Climate Change Commission has laid out the vital steps that must be taken to tackle the climate crisis. Now, we need to raise our voices to make it happen!
Earth Hour will be celebrated virtually and around Aotearoa.
On Saturday, 27 March at 8:30 p.m., New Zealanders will switch off their lights for one hour to celebrate Earth Hour — one of the world’s largest grassroots movements for the environment.
The global event brings together millions of people, businesses, and leaders from around the world calling for urgent action on nature loss and climate change.
Extreme weather events, devastating wildfires, and the rise in infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19 are devastating reminders that preventing nature loss is crucial for safeguarding our future. Yet, a global assessment of biodiversity targets showed the world failed to meet the 2020 deadline for achieving the targets set for preventing nature loss a decade ago. Earth Hour is a pivotal opportunity for organisations, youth groups, individuals, and businesses to demand our world leaders set nature on a path to recovery by 2030.
“Last year, our Government declared a climate emergency, and later this year will publish an Emissions Reduction Plan in response to the Climate Change Commission’s final advice, which will set out how Aotearoa New Zealand will reduce its greenhouse emissions in line with limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees. Now, it's up to all of us to do our bit to turn this into action and make Aotearoa a global leader in efforts to tackle the climate and nature crises. Earth Hour presents an unmissable opportunity to stand in solidarity for the health of our planet and our own future.” says Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand CEO.
“The climate emergency and catastrophic nature loss pose grave risks to Aotearoa’s incredible wild places, native species, and our own health and livelihoods. More than 4,000 of our native species are endangered, two-thirds of our rivers are unswimmable, only 10% of our wetland habitats remain, and our entire marine environment is under threat. Together, we can ensure our collective voices can be a catalyst for change, but we must act now. Join us by switching off for a brighter future,” continues Esterhazy.
Earth Hour has been marked by some of the world’s most iconic landmarks such as the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House switching off their lights in solidarity. This year, Auckland’s Sky Tower and Wellington’s Parliament buildings will be some of the first major monuments in the world to ‘go dark’ to support the initiative. From individuals to businesses, governments and more, all are invited to take part.
In addition to switching off lights, this Earth Hour, we encourage you to speak up for nature by sharing a must-watch video we will be posting to our social media channels to put the spotlight on our planet, the issues we face, and our place within it all.
This is your chance to have your voice heard before world leaders make critical decisions this year on nature, climate change and sustainable development. Your support for Earth Hour can send a powerful message that, together, New Zealanders can make a difference towards a more sustainable future.
“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,'' said 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 is a critical moment for individuals, leaders, and environmentalists to unite and call for urgent action to reverse nature loss and secure a nature-positive world by 2030.”
In the past decade, Earth Hour has inspired global action: such as initiatives for the protection of nature, climate, and the environment while helping drive awareness, action, and policy change. The movement helped in the creation of a 3.5 million hectares 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.
You can be a part of shaping history by signing up to take part in Earth Hour Aotearoa at www.earthhour.org.nz. This is our time to secure a healthy and sustainable future for all.