On Saturday, March 28, 2009, Earth Hour invites people around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – from 8:30pm to 9:30pm in their local time zone. The initiative is organized by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) and aims to reach as many people as possible. This year, close to 1 billion people from over 2,000 towns and cities in 84 countries are expected to join, switching off their lights.
This event, known as the “Earth Hour”, began in Sydney in 2007 when the city turned off its lights to highlight the world’s environmental problem. In 2008, the event turned into a global campaign that has drawn the participation of hundreds of towns and cities worldwide.
The “Earth Hour” aims at arousing the public awareness of energy conservation, and cutting emissions of greenhouse gas and other pollutants, thus minimizing the negative effects of climate change.
Of course, turning off the lights for one hour has very limited effect on climate change, but its significance is not just symbolic because the event is gaining greater attention and spreading far and wide.