The world began to ripple to darkness on Saturday as countries globally dimmed their lights at 8:30 pm local time for Earth Hour – an event that, according to the UN, encourages individuals, communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights, for one hour.
In his message to mark the event, Secretary-General António Guterres said that “we must all do our part to safeguard the planet”.
“We need to make peace with nature. Without nature’s help, we cannot thrive or even survive on this planet Earth”, he spelled out.
Warning that climate disruption, biodiversity loss and pollution “threaten lives, jobs and health”, the UN chief called 2021 “a year to change course”.
“It’s time to re-evaluate and reset our relationship with nature”, he said.
The Secretary-General upheld that solutions are “available, affordable, practical and realistic”.
“We can provide renewable energy and sustainable food systems for all. We can reduce emissions and use nature-based solutions to help us build a more resilient, carbon-neutral world”, he said.
In short, together the world can “build a brighter and more prosperous future”.
‘Make or break’ year
The UN chief reminded that “small actions can make a big difference” and said that “the United Nations is proud to join in the global effort to mark Earth Hour”.
“In this ‘make-or-break’ year, let your actions and voices send a clear message to leaders everywhere: now is the time to be bold and ambitious”, he stated.
“Let’s show the world that we are determined to protect the one home we all share”, concluded the Secretary-General.
As in previous years, the UN will switch off it lights at Headquarters in New York at 8:30 p.m. NY time.