Earth Hour organisers have declared last Saturday night’s Earth Hour an important step forward in building momentum to tackle climate change in Australia.
More than 1,000 Earth Hour events were held across Australia in capital cities and regional areas – more community events than ever before seen in Earth Hour’s eight-year history. Events highlighted the need to cut carbon pollution for the sake of the Great Barrier Reef’s survival.
Volunteers in Canberra used 3,600 candles to spell a clear message – ‘Lights Out for the Reef’ – on the front lawn of Parliament House.
The message follows warnings from leading reef expert Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg that if we do not act now, the impacts of climate change on the reef will be irreversible by 2030.
Sydney was also a hub of activity, with large-scale public screenings of Lights Out for the Reef – an Earth Hour Documentary Special, shown at Manly, Bondi, Circular Quay, Newtown, Parramatta and Balmoral. In Manly, a 1,000-strong crowd ‘drew a line in the sand’ by candlelight to send a message to the government to take stronger action on climate change.
Major public screenings were also held in Canberra, Perth, Adelaide and Townsville while thousands of people hosted private group screenings of the documentary in their own home and backyard before turning off their lights at 8.30pm.
‘The huge community support for Earth Hour this year shows that Australians are deeply concerned about the fate of the Great Barrier Reef and want stronger action on climate change to safeguard its future,’ said Earth Hour national manager Anna Rose.
Earth Hour has now relaunched as a year-round movement.
‘One hour is not enough to save the Great Barrier Reef, so we’re launching Earth Hour Action,’ said Rose. ‘Earth Hour Action is a movement that will continue to give Earth Hour supporters the opportunity to make a difference to tackling climate change year-round.’
The next phase of Earth Hour will see 50 organisers of the most unique and inspiring events held on Earth Hour night selected to take part in Camp Earth Hour in May this year.