Earth Hour 2018 (24 March 8.30 pm your time), will shine a light on the impact of biodiversity in Australia as a result of climate change. From the national treasure of the Great Barrier Reef to our iconic koala in the bush, to our much-loved neighbours, the penguins of Antarctica, our unique wildlife and the natural places we love face a perilous future unless we step up to protect our planet - our home - from the impacts of climate change.
In the last 40 years, the world has already lost nearly 60% of the global wildlife population, and climate change is emerging as the biggest threat to biodiversity, now and in the future.*
On Saturday March 24, Australians will be called upon to turn off their lights between 8.30-9.30 pm local time as a symbol of support to protect our planet for future generations. This year, we encourage Australians to connect to earth (#Connect2Earth) by switching off during Earth Hour, reconnecting with Australia’s natural environment and joining the global conversation on how climate change is affecting Australia's beautiful natural world.
Launched by WWF-Australia in 2007, Earth Hour has become the world’s biggest grassroots environmental movement where landmarks and communities switch off their lights to show their support for a brighter future for the planet.
WWF's Earth Hour attracts 1 in 4 Aussies to take part each year **, with more than 180 countries and 7000 cities across the world switching off. Since it began in 2007, Earth Hour has been a game-changer for bringing climate and environmental action into the mainstream. As global biodiversity declines at an unprecedented rate, Earth Hour will focus its efforts on galvanizing support for action on biodiversity and nature.
Over 20 major landmarks will switch off, with more expected to sign up in the coming weeks, including:
- Sydney Opera House, NSW
- Sydney Harbour Bridge, NSW
- Australian Museum, NSW
- Federation Square, VIC
- Melbourne Arts Centre, VIC
- The Brisbane Wheel, QLD
- Suncorp Stadium, QLD
- Parliament House, TAS
- Tasman Bridge, TAS
- Darwin Convention Centre, NT
- City of Charles Sturt, SA
- Samstag Museum of Art, SA
- Fremantle Arts Centre, WA
- City of Belmont, WA
Already in Australia, more than 80 schools, 130 businesses, 30 councils, 30 community groups, have signed up to take part, with at least 80 community events to mark Earth Hour.
* Aspart of Earth Hour, on 14th March, WWF will be releasing aground-breaking report titled Wildlife in a Warming World. Advance copies are available under strictembargo. The report provides a global overview of the real threat to wildlifefrom climate change.
** Research conducted by AMR 2017
"In our field work, we see the impact of climate change on Australia's wildlife every day - from the green turtles in the Great Barrier Reef to our beloved koala in the bush. Our country will lose species at an alarming rate, and because our wildlife is so unique, a loss of Aussie species means a loss for the whole world. We are asking all of Australia to spend time and connect to nature this Earth Hour. By appreciating the wonders of Australia's natural environment, we learn to value and protect our home for future generations," said Darren Grover, Head of Living Ecosystems at WWF-Australia.
"Biodiversity and nature underpin our lives, our economies, our health, our well-being, our happiness. It is the foundation of our living planet. Today, as we push the planet and its natural systems to the edge, Earth Hour is our chance to use our power, as individuals and as a collective, to demand and take action to protect this web of life in return for all it gives us. For the benefit of all life on Earth and of our own future," said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International.
"One of the key impacts of climate change is biodiversity loss, and biodiversity loss worsens climate change. As every action we take today will have an impact, we hope that through emphasising the importance of biodiversity and its relationship with climate change, we can save these beautiful creatures which form part of Australia's identity. Earth Hour is more than just switching the lights off, it's a promise to protect our planet," said Kerri Major, Climate and Earth Hour Engagement Manager at WWF-Australia.
"Out on the Northern Reef, I have seen for myself how climate change is affecting green turtles in ways that we are only beginning to understand. For some populations, these beautiful creatures have their nests threatened by rising sea levels, and their eggs are hatching almost all female because of the higher sand temperatures, potentially causing a population crash. We need to take action to curb climate change now, so that future generations can experience the majesty of all marine turtles in the Great Barrier Reef - our national treasure," said Christine Hof, Marine Species Project Manager at WWF-Australia.
Further information on key species in Australia affected by climatechange available here.
Listings and media information:
8.30pm-9.30pm local time, Saturday 24 March, 2018.
Australians all across the country can register their event and support on the Earth Hour website. If you sign up to switch off for Earth Hour from 1st March 2018 you could also stand a chance to win a unforgettable trip to the Great Barrier Reef to help WWF tag and track turtles.
Go to http://events.earthhour.org.au/ to search for Earth Hour events taking place in your area as they become available.
Image collection available here. Please note that photo credits are mandatory.
For more information, images, case studies, facts and stats as well as spokesperson interviews, please email:
Earth Hour Press Office