A message from IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre on Earth Hour

26 March 2008 | News story

IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre says: “On March 29, 2008, cities across the world will turn off their lights for Earth Hour, an event designed to raise awareness about climate change and symbolize that working together the people of the world can make a difference in the fight against climate change.

Earth Hour has grown from a single event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 to a global phenomenon that will occur across six continents and in as many as 20 cities in 2008.

The goal now is to get thousands of businesses and individuals to participate in this historic event, through which they can show the world that addressing climate change is one of the most critical issues facing our world today.

Last year 2.2 million people and 2100 Sydney businesses turned off their lights for one hour. This massive collective effort reduced Sydney's energy consumption by 10.2 percent for one hour, which is the equivalent effect of taking 48,000 cars off the road for a year.

With Sydney icons like the Harbour Bridge and Opera House turning their lights off, and unique events such as weddings by candlelight, the world took notice.

This is now a global movement which IUCN wholeheartedly supports – as this movement grows we encourage more cities and communities to participate in Earth Hour.”

To set up interviews, please contact:

Sarah Halls, IUCN Media Relations Officer, Tel: +41 22 999 0127; Mobile: +41 79 528 3486; Email: sarah.halls@iucn.org

About Earth Hour

Organized by WWF and created to take a stand against the greatest threat our planet has ever faced, Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming. This simple act has captured the hearts and minds of people all over the world. As a result, at 8pm on March 29, 2008, millions of people in some of the world’s major cities, including Copenhagen, Toronto, Chicago, Melbourne, Brisbane, Tel Aviv and Manila will unite and switch off for Earth Hour. www.earthhour.org

About IUCN

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges by supporting scientific research; managing field projects all over the world; and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN, international conventions and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network. IUCN is a democratic union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and some 10,000 volunteer scientists in more than 150 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by 1,100 professional staff in 62 countries and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. www.iucn.org