On 28 March 2009 at 20:30 local time, wherever you are, WWF is aiming to mobilize one billion people in 1,000 cities in 100 countries to switch off their lights for one hour. Earth Hour 2009 will represent the largest-ever global vote, and will send a uniquely powerful message to world leaders on the need for urgent, concerted action to combat climate change.
This mass mobilization of people through Earth Hour will carry through to the negotiators and decision-makers meeting to discuss the new Global Climate Deal in Copenhagen at the UN Climate Summit in December. The message is that the world demands a just, effective and science-based Global Climate Deal – and will not accept failure.
Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, when 2.2 million people participated. In 2008, this grew to more than 50 million people in 371 cities in 35 countries. At the beginning of March, the Earth Hour team has already received commitments from double the number of cities and countries with more coming on daily. There is a huge and growing mobilization of people worldwide who will participate in Earth Hour.
I ask that you look at ways you might mobilize individuals, communities, schools, companies, faith groups and urban areas in your region to join Earth Hour. There are tools and ideas on www.earthhour.org in a variety of languages, and support is available from both the Earth Hour Global team and WWF International.
We recognize that in some countries the idea of switching lights off may not be as straightforward as in some developed countries. If this is an issue I encourage you to be creative and find appropriate ways to join the global vote! For example, one WWF office in Africa will stage an event with the local community at a school using renewable energy.
I particularly urge you to use your networks to encourage local participation. Find ways to maximise local participation.
Earth Hour is a WWF creation, with a global reach-out, and will be followed in the nine months to the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen with a continued focus on the fact that one billion people are calling on government leaders to act responsibly and agree a just, effective, science-based Global Climate Deal.
For more information on how to participate and be counted, visit www.earthhour.org, Vote Earth, and help world leaders see the light!
For activities in Kenya, select Kenya on the website. Come on Kenya, join us for Earth Hour 2009, turn off your lights at 8.30pm Saturday 28 March and sign-up at earthhour.org.