The celebration of Earth Hour 2023 in the Philippines was a success, with iconic landmarks, local governments, and businesses across the country participating in the switch-off.
Earth Hour is an annual event organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF-Philippines) that encourages people to turn off their lights for an hour as a symbol of their commitment to the planet. This global movement aims to raise awareness about climate change and the need for urgent action to mitigate its impacts. The event also seeks to highlight the value of nature as climate’s secret ally and the halting of biodiversity loss as one of the organization’s critical advocacies.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) measured a total nationwide drop in electricity grid load of 62.68 megawatts (MW) during Earth Hour. Luzon saw the most significant drop with 33.28 MW, while Visayas and Mindanao saw load drops of 20.5 MW and 8.9 MW, respectively. To put this into perspective, a small household can consume around 150 to 250 kilowatts in a month, making the energy saved during Earth Hour equivalent to 250 to 418 small households not consuming electricity for a whole month.
“We see how much Filipinos care about the planet because of their consistent annual participation in Earth Hour. Each person’s contribution adds up to the bigger goal of reducing the country’s reliance on fossil fuels,” Earth Hour Philippines National Director Atty. Angela Consuelo Ibay said.
“Now that Filipinos have taken the first step of switching off their lights, it’s time to keep going by going beyond the hour. We need more people to support environmental efforts whether it is in reducing plastic waste, promoting renewable energy, and eating and living sustainably,” she added.
Atty. Ibay explained that switching off the lights for one hour is just a small act for one person, but when millions of people do it, it adds up to significant savings in terms of energy usage. She said that the switch-off is simply the first step to becoming more aware of our individual roles in protecting the environment.
This year’s Earth Hour was held on March 25 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle and was attended by an estimated 1,200 people, according to the Quezon City Department of Public Order and Safety. The event was marked by a series of activities, including a sustainability fair, a symbolic run for the Earth, and musical entertainment by local artists.
“It only takes 60 minutes to do good for our future, 60 minutes to take notice and commit to saving Mother Nature, to be united and take action because together nothing is impossible,” the President said in a video statement. “Let’s switch off and give Mother Nature 60 minutes to breathe,” he added.
In the previous year’s Earth Hour celebration, the total load drop measured was 65.32 MW for the entire country with the largest savings of 35.26 MW from Luzon, followed by 15.3 MW for Mindanao, and 14.76 MW for Visayas.
Since the first Earth Hour in 2007 in Australia, millions of people participate every year in Earth Hour from various sectors, groups, and parts of the world, making it an authentic movement of humanity for the environment. The Philippines joined the global movement in 2008. The yearly global switching off of lights is observed from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, where over 190 countries around the world joined in as part of this one-of-a-kind global grassroots movement for nature.
Earth Hour 2023 is co-presented by Quezon City Government, together with our Official Communications and PR Partner, COMCO Mundo League of Enterprises; media partners The Philippine Star, GMA, Radyo Veritas, and Globaltronics; promotional partners Creator and Influencer Council of the Philippines, Leo Burnett, and GCash; marketing partners Salad Stop, Coca-Cola, SSI Group, Inc., Epson Philippines, Sun Life Foundation, Booths & Partners, Ayala Malls, and Megaworld Lifestyle Malls; and community partners Save the Children, Oxfam Pilipinas, World Vision, United Nations Development Programme, International Organization for Migration, Association of Young Environmental Journalists, The Asia Foundation, De La Salle University and Philippine Scouts.
The following government offices support this event: the Department of Energy, Climate Change Commission, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, League of Cities of the Philippines, League of Provinces of the Philippines, Department of Agriculture, Court of Appeals, Department of Health, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Information and Communications Technology, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, National Parks Development Committee, National Economic Development Authority, Department of Education, Department of Interior and Local Governance, Laguna Lake Development Authority.
The success of the Earth Hour event in the Philippines serves as an inspiration to other countries in the region and around the world. It shows that by working together, we can make a difference in our planet’s future.