India joins the world to observe Earth Hour on Saturday
From the Eiffel Tower to Taipei 101 and the Empire State Building to the Acropolis, thousands of landmarks will switch off their lights in solidarity as individuals, communities and organizations worldwide deliver on their potential to help change climate change, the planet’s biggest environmental challenge yet.
Mooted by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Australia, in 2007, Earth Hour has slowly developed into a global movement.
2017 marks the tenth anniversary of Earth Hour which started as a symbolic event in Sydney in 2007.
It is the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, ensuring that people who are on the frontlines of climate change, are also empowered to be the planet’s first line of defense, said WWF in a release.
“We started Earth Hour to make a statement. Never did we imagine that we would be writing a dramatic new story for climate action where each individual can help turn the page toward a sustainable, climate-resilient future for all,” said Siddarth Das, Executive Director, Earth Hour Global.
He said, “In ten years, Earth Hour has helped protect seas in Russia and Argentina, raised funds for conservation projects in Southeast Asia and the Amazon and even created a forest in Uganda and none of this would have been possible without the force that binds us all together – our collective determination to protect the one planet we all share.”
On Saturday, WWF-India, in association with Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance hosted Pedal for the Planet 2017, a Cyclothon and Walkathon to celebrate Earth Hour 2017.
The Earth Hour India campaign by WWF-India focuses on the need to inspire individuals, corporates and other organizations, schools, colleges, RWAs and housing societies to become Earth Hour Superheroes, undertake five simple actions and lend their voice to the largest grassroots level environment campaign in the world.
The exhilarating 21 kilometer cyclothon, covered over two rounds and the 3.5km walkathon.
Anuj Mathur, Chief Executive Officer, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance said, "We are pleased to partner for the 9th consecutive year with WWF-India for the Earth Hour 'Pedal for the Planet' initiative. We at Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance have always encouraged our employees in initiatives which promote sustainable lifestyle and safeguards the planet. It is heartening to see the increasing awareness around the world on the need to preserve the environment and within our organization we are taking all steps to contribute to this cause."
Speaking about the success of the campaign and the event, Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF-India said, “Earth Hour is our attempt to inspire and empower individuals and help them fight against the complex issue of climate change. The enormous enthusiasm and support that we’ve witnessed for Earth Hour at the Pedal for the Planet Cyclothon is very humbling, it is great to see people coming together and committing to fight for a common cause that threatens the world as we know it.”
Building on the impact it has created in the last decade, in 2017, Earth Hour supporters in Spain and the UK are urging the government to deliver strong climate action and meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement.
In Hungary and Uganda, people are encouraging communities and organizations to shift to renewable energy while in Cambodia, Greece and Colombia, people are coming together to act toward sustainable lifestyles.
In Australia, the birthplace of the movement, WWF is using Earth Hour to spread awareness on renewable energy among the youth while also inviting supporters who switch off the lights to donate toward solar lighting in rural communities in Ethiopia.
Similarly, people in Singapore, Indonesia, India and Hong Kong are teaming up as ‘Earth Hour Buddies’ to help protect forests and oceans and promote sustainable living.
“Climate change is visible proof that our actions can have a ripple effect beyond physical borders. It is up to each of us to ensure the impact we create helps instead to improve the lives of those around us and elsewhere, at present and in the future,” added Das.
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