Earth Hour to spark awareness and rally action for a healthy planet
Earth Hour, WWF’s landmark movement, is set to once again unite millions of people around the world to show their commitment to the planet. As our only shared home faces the dual challenge of climate change and plummeting biodiversity, the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment aims to mobilise individuals, businesses and governments to be a part of the conversation and solutions needed to build a healthy, sustainable future – and planet – for all.
Having started as a symbolic lights out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now celebrated in more than 180 countries and territories as a global moment of solidarity for the planet. Online, #EarthHour and related terms last year generated over 3.5 billion impressions in the run up to Earth Hour, trending in at least 30 countries worldwide on the night. The movement has been a game-changer for popularising climate and environmental action across the globe. As global biodiversity declines at an unprecedented rate, Earth Hour will focus its efforts on galvanising mainstream support for action on biodiversity and nature.
In the past decade, Earth Hour has inspired audience worldwide to support and participate in critical climate and conservation projects led by WWF and many others, helping drive climate policy, awareness and action. Closer to home, roaring public support for Earth Hour added momentum to appeals to the state government. Notably the 2015 and 2016 Earth Hour events in Kudat of Sabah echoed voices of the public support to the establishment of the 900,000 hectare Tun Mustapha Park (TMP), which is crucial for marine conservation. WWF-Malaysia played a key role during the decade-long journey towards the establishment of TMP, which was officially gazetted in May 2016.
This year, WWF and Earth Hour teams around the world will be using the movement to highlight the environmental issues most relevant in their country or region. Earth Hour 2018 aims to spark conversation and interest on accelerating climate change and staggering biodiversity loss, using Connect2Earth as a call for people worldwide to connect with the environmental issues and causes that they personally care about.
Given the scale and impacts of climate change we are already seeing in the local scene, the state governments and city councils, businesses and individuals all play an important role in drawing attention to climate action and driving sustainable initiatives.
At the fifth Earth Hour Night Walk in Penang, YB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, Penang State Executive Councillor for Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation reiterated and updated progress of their pledges to mitigate climate change, as follows:
- All state government offices / agencies to be Penang Green Office (PGO) certified with carbon reporting by 2020. Currently 27 public offices have been certified under the PGO certification.
- To achieve 50% recycling rate for the state of Penang by 2020. As of August 2017, Penang state has achieved an incredible 32.21% recycling rate.
- To convert 20,000 unit street lightings to LED lightings by 2020. To date, 6,217 existing lighting will be changed to LED lights by March of 2018.
YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Pulau Pinang affirmed the state government’s commitment to mitigate climate change and conserve the natural capital, paving the way to achieve state-wide sustainable development by 2030. “We are hopeful that our green initiatives in place will get people paying the needed attention to the importance of biodiversity and our environment,” added YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng.
Earth Hour 2018 Night Walk co-organiser 1st Avenue Mall in Penang supports green initiatives too. “People today are more aware of climate change and the impacts of nature loss, but the challenge still lies in translating the awareness to execution. This is the fourth year we pride ourselves in collaborating with WWF-Malaysia to co-organise Earth Hour Night Walk. Tonight, 1st Avenue Mall will switch off non-essential lights for an hour in conjunction with the annual event. We look forward to contributing more towards environmentally sustainable action for our future generations,” said Mr Jensen Lim, General Manager for 1st Avenue Mall.
All night walk participants received a walk pack comprising a 100% cotton, eco-friendly Earth Hour 2018 T-Shirt and a medal made from recycled remnant wood. Proceeds from the sale of walk packs will be channelled to WWF-Malaysia’s conservation efforts. For more information on the Earth Hour 2018 Night Walks, please visit: www.pandashop.my/earthhour2018
Starting today, supporters can visit connect2earth.org to share what biodiversity and nature means to them in the places they live in and find out more about it. Created in partnership with the secretariat of the United Nations (UN) Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), the platform aims to build mass awareness on the values of biodiversity and nature by kick-starting global conversations on issues such as climate action, healthy oceans and sustainable business.
Visit www.earthhour.org to know what is happening in locations around the world and read individuals’ stories about what they are doing for our planet. This is our time to secure a healthy, sustainable and climate-resilient future for all.
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About Earth Hour with Penang Island City Council
Earth Hour 2018 was celebrated in Penang together with Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (MBPP) for the fifth time with a 3.8km Night Walk route at Lebuh Lintang, next to 1st Avenue Mall. Penang was the first state in the country to launch a ‘No Free Plastic Bag’ campaign in July 2009, and consequently created history by being the first state to extend the no-free-plastic practice to everyday in 2011. They have also formed the Penang Green Council (PGC) to spearhead the execution of green activities within Penang.
About WWF’s Earth Hour
Grassroots movement: Started as a symbolic lights-out campaign in Sydney (Australia) in 2007, WWF’s Earth Hour has grown to become the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment – largely focused on climate change – mobilising millions to take climate action in 187 countries and territories. Now in its eleventh year, Earth Hour has gone beyond the hour and achieved massive environmental impacts around the world by harnessing the power of the crowd. For the next 3 years, Earth Hour will focus on achieving CBD Aichi Target 1 which states that by 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.
WWF-Malaysia (World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia) was established in Malaysia in 1972. It currently runs more than 90 projects covering a diverse range of environmental conservation and protection work, from saving endangered species such as tigers and turtles, to protecting our highland forests, rivers and seas. The national conservation organisation also undertakes environmental education and advocacy work to achieve its conservation goals. Its mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the nation’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. For latest news and media resources, visit http://www.wwf.org.my/media_and_information/media_centre/
Link to Earth Hour’s 2018 music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZYiJLH2toY&feature=youtu.be
Link to photos of previous Earth Hour events and impacts: https://hive.panda.org/Share/wdv0o80b113lxo2s2s6mk5xi6qvn185j
To know more about WWF’s work on climate and biodiversity, please visit:
For more information, please contact:
Sheena Wong Sin-Yee
Interim Head of Communications, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603 7450 3773 Ext. 6412