Power down for an hour this Saturday at 8:30 p.m., for Earth Hour 2020. (Contributed)

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Earth Hour 2020 will go ahead despite the COVID-19 pandemic but action will take place online.

On March 28, people around the world will participate in the World Wildlife Foundation’s (WWF) 13th annual global Earth Hour movement which sees participants voluntarily shut off their electricity from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time.

The symbolic action of powering down for one hour every year aims to mobilize individuals, businesses and governments to protect the planet and its inhabitants.

READ ALSO: Latest Canadian updates: About 7% of COVID-19 cases require hospitalization

In a post on the Earth Hour website, organizers explained that “given the unprecedented circumstances, the team is advising that Earth Hour [be] celebrated digitally this year” as large gatherings are being discouraged in many countries around the world. Participants are asked to closely follow their nation’s health guidelines.

Earth Hour organizers acknowledge the severity of the pandemic and feel that this is an important time to safeguard the planet in creative ways.

READ ALSO: ‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives from the COVID-19 outbreak and our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones or who are sick,” said Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, in a written statement. “In this hour of crisis, we need to unite now more than ever to safeguard our future and the future of our planet.”

Participants are encouraged to find unique ways to participate in the hour-long event – from switching off power at home to joining an Earth Hour livestream to taking to social media to share information or sign the virtual Voice for the Planet petition which currently has more than 334,000 signatures. Organizers have also created special Earth Hour photo filters and Tik Tok challenges including #FlipTheSwitch and #DanceForThePlanet.

READ ALSO: Will you turn off your lights for Earth Hour?

In a written statement in support of Earth Hour, young climate activist Greta Thunberg explained that “the need to unite and protect our planet has never been greater.” She asks that the global community come together virtually for Earth Hour in light of the ongoing pandemic and “renew our commitment to the planet and use our voices to drive action online safely and responsibly.”

Since the Earth Hour movement began in Australia in 2007, sustainability actions have been taken around the world including the installation of solar-powered lights in three villages in India that have no electricity, the distribution of thousands of wood-saving stoves to families in Madagascar and the passing of a bill in Argentina to create a 3.4 million-hectare marine protected area.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

ConservationCoronavirusGlobal climate action

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hamhuis hangs up his skates

The Nashville Predators defenceman and Smithereen spent 16 years in the NHL

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

Community engagement process launched to implement northern B.C. First Nation’s rights and title

Cyclist dead following Hwy 16 collision with pickup

The cyclist was a 41-year-old man from Smithers

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

External community engagement process launched to help implement Wet’suwet’en rights and title

Smithers contractor refurbishes sailboat for Northwest Passage adventure

Ron Smith, who has been working on the “Obsession” for 12 years, will put her in the water this week

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Most Read