The lights went out at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and numerous other sights around the world: during “Earth Hour” – the hour for the earth – they were no longer illuminated for 60 minutes. With this global campaign, the environmental protection organization WWF sets an example for more climate protection every year. This year in Germany it is also about the political climate.

“The current zeitgeist is tense. Crises, conflicts and wars keep people very busy,” explained Viviane Raddatz, climate chief at WWF Germany, in advance. “This year we want to use Earth Hour as a moment for each other, for our earth and to show together: We stand for more climate protection, for mutual respect, for democracy.” It is also about opposing a shift to the right and the associated denial of climate catastrophes.

Empire State Building in darkness

As part of “Earth Hour,” the lights went out for an hour at the top of the famous Empire State Building in central New York. This was shown by a live webcam from the building.

Not only do many people around the world turn off their lights for an hour – in many places, well-known buildings are no longer illuminated for 60 minutes. At the same time, people should also take action for the environment themselves: Every individual can make a difference by dedicating 60 minutes of their time to the earth and spending it doing something positive for the planet, said WWF International. Examples given included reconnecting with nature on a trip, cooking healthy and climate-friendly food, shopping plastic-free or planting a tree.

The 100-story Empire State Building in New York’s Manhattan district, which opened in 1931, shines in different colors almost every evening – occasions include holidays and honoring successful sports teams. Yesterday the lights at the top of the 440 meter high Empire State Building remained off. According to the WWF, the lights in the USA should be turned off for “Earth Hour”, including at the Seattle Space Needle observation tower and Niagara Falls.

Lights out in several hundred cities in Germany

The lights were turned off in numerous cities around the world, not only at sights but also in numerous other buildings. According to WWF, several hundred cities in Germany wanted to take part in the campaign.

In addition to going without light for an hour, according to the WWF, everyone was able to support the climate even before the action: Since March 1st, the foundation has been counting up every single hour that people have been working for the climate or democracy in an “Hour Bank”. Various activities are available to choose from, including neighborhood cleaning, environmentally friendly cooking or laundry.

The WWF launched the global climate and environmental protection campaign in Australia in 2007 – as a sign that humanity must take better care of the earth. This year Earth Hour took place for the 18th time. According to the WWF, the hour for the earth is now being celebrated on all continents.