Organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Earth Hour encourages individuals, companies, organizations and Governments throughout the world to switch off their lights for one hour at 8:30 p.m., local time worldwide.
The event also recognizes that everyone’s involvement is needed in order to make a collective impact and take accountability for their ecological footprint.
Coming in the lead-up to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s climate summit this September, Earth Hour aims to focus attention on the need for climate action. This is a message Mr. Ban brought back from his visit earlier this week to Greenland, where he travelled to the Ilulissat Icefjord and witnessed first-hand the alarming impacts of the climate change phenomenon.
Speaking to reporters yesterday in New York, he said the fjord’s icebergs and glaciers there were melting rapidly. “The effects of global warming – melting glaciers, extreme weather patterns and rising sea levels – are starting to seriously threaten the livelihoods [of Greenland’s people],” the UN chief said, calling on world leaders to come to the climate summit with “strong political will.” For the last few years, the UN Headquarters in New York, its offices in Geneva and many other UN facilities around the world have joined other international landmarks participating in Earth Hour. This year, the UN is going the extra mile and turning off all non-essential lights at its NY campus for three hours, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., local time.
All UN staff members around the world have been invited to take part both in their offices and homes to demonstrate the UN’s commitment to support action on climate change, one of the top priorities of the Organization.