On 25 March, millions of people around the world will celebrate Earth Hour, the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment. WWF’s Earth Hour is now in its 17th year, and has mostly been known for its iconic ‘lights off’ moment, a symbolic event to celebrate collective support for the planet.
For 2023, Earth Hour is expanding its focus beyond switching off the lights. With the call “Switch off. Give an hour for Earth”, WWF EU (and many other European offices) will use Earth Hour to highlight the importance of our European nature and shine a spotlight on nature restoration. In several EU countries, WWF offices will organise activities designed to raise awareness on nature restoration and make the concept more tangible to supporters, the media, and other stakeholders.
80% of European nature is in bad shape, but the draft Nature Restoration Law including binding nature restoration targets as presented by the European Commission in June 2022 has the potential to put the EU’s degraded ecosystems on a path to recovery. WWF and partner NGOs therefore call for the urgent adoption and implementation of the law to help reverse the tide of biodiversity loss and climate change. The European Parliament and EU Member States, which are now entering the critical phase of discussions on the law, must fully endorse the positive elements and strengthen the existing weaknesses without delay.
“Recent discussions in Parliament and Council have shown that vested interests are pushing back hard against restoring nature in Europe. This is shameful! We’re calling for all governments and MEPs to listen to science, citizens and progressive business voices and to agree on a law which can be a real game changer for nature and climate action in Europe. Large scale nature restoration cannot wait!“ said Sabien Leemans, Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer at the WWF European Policy Office.
This Earth Hour, WWF and its partners are therefore launching the next phase of the #RestoreNature campaign, which invites citizens to send an email to their national governments and Members of the European Parliament to adopt the urgent and much-needed Nature Restoration Law. This law is now within reach, but we need broad support to make it happen. In order to do this, citizens are invited to send a picture of a landscape they would like to see restored to their decision-makers.
“We know that there is strong public support for bringing nature back to Europe. We’re calling on all nature lovers and climate activists to support the #RestoreNature campaign at this critical moment in time – we need this pressure to save the law, and we need it now! By joining our email action, citizens can make their voices heard and urge their policy-makers to support a strong EU nature restoration law,” said Liesbeth Van den Bossche, EU Campaign Manager, WWF European Policy Office.
The #RestoreNature email action will be launched on 25 March on www.wwf.eu. It will carried out across EU member states, and run until the European Parliament plenary vote in July