WWF, the charity behind Earth Hour, is taking advantage of the powerful tools social media has to offer for the first time - employing the services of creative agency Iris to develop a dedicated Facebook app and awareness film.
The company moves to engage a wider social audience and urge Earth Hour supporters to shine a light on climate action by sharing the message on social media accounts.
On Saturday 19 March 2016 8:30pm local time, the world’s most iconic landmarks will switch off their lights in the tenth Earth Hour, and supporters around the world will be invited to ‘shine a light’ and take a stand for climate action by sharing Earth Hour information on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Users can also add a custom-made Earth Hour filter to their profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter.
"Social media transcends physical boundaries and so does climate change," said Siddarth Das, executive director, Earth Hour Global.
"A simple action on social media is the kind of powerful statement that can spur our friends and communities to be a part of the climate action we need to take on this global challenge."
The ‘Donate Your Social Power’ Facebook app allows supporters around the world to share climate issues facing countries, people and wildlife in Latin America, see how communities are helping protect #PlacesWeLove in Australia such as the World Heritage Forests in Tasmania and the Great Barrier Reef or how they can be a part of India’s ambition to #GoSolar or Africa’s efforts to change climate change by helping protect forests and promoting access to climate education and renewables.
Earth Hour and Iris have also created an awareness film 'The Future Starts Today' that will go live across all Earth Hour sites and channels today (23 February).
The film is intended to show how our actions today affect the future of the planet.
"Climate action today will decide the future of our planet for generations to come. As more people sign up, an increasing number of individuals will be able to see how climate action starts with each of us, here and now," said Das.
Luke Nathans, chief executive APAC, iris: "The world has changed since the first Earth Hour in 2007. Social media is now the biggest driver in awareness – we needed to find a way to engender participation that would help drive real climate action. We hope everyone from the hard-core climate activists, to social campaigners and everyone in between – will get involved and help shine a global light on climate change. It has been a real labour of love for an important global movement – with the app we are enabling people across the world to take part in Earth Hour - for the future of the planet."
In 2016, Earth Hour will continue to power grassroots efforts to change climate change including driving a petition for 100 per cent renewable energy in Spain, protecting forests and biodiversity in Africa and helping devise a holistic solution to Southeast Asia’s annual haze crisis by working with governments, businesses and civil society simultaneously on peatland protection and sustainable palm oil.