Earth Hour is a worldwide grassroots movement by the World Wide Fund aimed at uniting people to protect the planet and to drive awareness on the impact of Climate Change on the continent and the role of people on climate action.

Engaging a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues, Earth Hour was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown to engage more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide, and the one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the now larger movement.

The event is held worldwide towards the end of March annually, encouraging individuals, community’s households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. This year’s celebrations will be on Saturday 19 March from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.

The initiative came from a think tank initiated by Earth Hour CEO and Co-Founder, Andy Ridley, resulting in the formation of a partnership between WWF Australia, Leo Burnett and Fairfax Media to address the climate change issue.

In 2007, there was still a degree of scepticism and denial about the issue of climate change. Earth Hour came as the inspiration to rally people to the reality of climate change and start a dialogue about what individuals can do to help address the greatest problem facing the planet today.

Climate change is already beginning to transform life on Earth. Around the globe, seasons are shifting, temperatures are climbing and sea levels are rising.

The climate plays such a major part in the planet’s environmental system that even minor changes have impacts that are large and complex.

Climate change affects people and nature in countless ways, and it often increases existing threats that have already put pressure on the environment.

It is 30 years since scientists first alerted the world to the dangers of climate change.

Changes in nature have serious implications for people and the economic system. The insurance industry estimates the potential economic damage, caused by the impacts of global warming, to be hundreds of billions of dollars each year.