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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

School District 8 trustees vote in favour of raises

Six of the nine trustees backed the increase in pay

Snow expected to hit West Kootenay passes overnight on Thursday

Up to 15 cm of snow could fall on Highway 3 between Paulson summit to Kootenay Pass by Friday morning

Creston flour mills overwhelmed by COVID-19 demand

Flour shortage highlights region’s grain insecurity

Museum manager living her dream

By Lorne Eckersley For 22 years, Tammy Bradford has been doing “the… Continue reading

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

Most Read