What is Earth Hour?

WWF’s Earth Hour is a global annual event where hundreds of millions of people switch off their lights for one hour to show they care about our planet. It’s about people from across the globe coming together to create a symbolic and spectacular lights out display and asking for change.

It happens every year between 8.30 and 9.30pm, with switch offs starting in Samoa and finishing in Tahiti. It’s been growing every year, with more and more countries and people signing up – last year we hit an all-time record with 162 countries taking part!

Buckingham Palace switches off for Earth Hour

How you spend the hour is up to you. You could have a dinner party with friends or loved ones by candlelight, practice your yoga skills or play board games with the family – if you’re lucky, you might even get to try a spot of stargazing!

It’s something so simple but with a big message – we want to protect the future of our planet. Will you join us?

Sign up now!

A brief history of Earth Hour

2014

A record 162 countries took part in Earth Hour 2014, showing a phenomenal amount of support from the UK, to Australia, Uruguay and Russia.


© Vlad Barin / WWF-UK

60 special Earth Hour pandas named by WWF-UK supporters were unleashed across the UK to help spread the message about Earth Hour. #Passthepanda selfies popped up all across social media and even celebrities like Stephen Fry, Eliza Doolittle and Jack Whitehall shared their photos.

We launched a Poster Design competition for young creatives, asking them to design an inspirational poster for Earth Hour which would feature in the ’29 Posters for the Planet’ collection. The winning poster was featured on billboards across the UK inspiring people to take part in Earth Hour.

On the day, dancing pandas took to the streets of London’s Southbank to celebrate Earth Hour and #passthepanda. In the evening we had an exclusive performance from Sophie Ellis Bextor and we live-streamed Big Ben’s switch off with the help of Dougie from McFly.

Some of the key landmarks that took part are: Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Table Mountain, The Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, Times Square and even the International Space Station!

2013

10 million people in the UK and 157 countries took part in one of the world’s greatest mass participation event.

Our Hidden Heroes competition searched for those individuals who go above and beyond to do their bit and inspire those around them to live sustainably. The winners were presented their awards by Graeme Le Saux at our on the night event at the Southbank centre.

Our on the night event featured an exclusive performance from Earth Hour Ambassadors McFly.

2012

7.6 million people in the UK took part in Earth Hour 2012, joining 3,500 schools and more than 1,200 businesses and organisations.

On the night itself, singer and Earth Hour ambassador KT Tunstall launched the night with an exclusive acoustic gig in Westfield London.

In London, a human powered dance floor lit up Somerset House, where pop band The Luminites and street dance troupe Flawless, stars of Britain’s Got Talent and film StreetDance 2, counted down to the switch off and performed a twilight routine.

2011

For Earth Hour 2011 in London, television presenter Kirsty Gallacher led a team of 60 cyclists in one of the largest human-powered projections ever attempted to light up The Royal Albert Hall with images of endangered species including dolphins and tigers.

2010

A record 128 countries and territories take part and iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas stand in darkness.

2009

WWF partners up with Earth Hour to help create one of the world’s biggest celebrations for our brilliant planet. Hundreds of millions of people in more than 4,000 cities and towns across 88 countries switched off their lights for one hour to show they want action on climate change.

2008

The word has spread and the UK gets involved in Earth Hour for the first time, alongside 371 cities and towns in more than 35 countries.

2007

The first ever Earth Hour started in Sydney, Australia.

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