OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND INTO THE LIGHT
Each year over 7000 towns and cities worldwide participate in Earth Hour, shutting off non-essential lights and affirming a symbolic commitment to global energy conservation. As the initiative, organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), continues its campaign to increase engagement, a new push to bring Earth Hour to religious places of worship aims to showcase interfaith communications in a new light.
With the 10-year mark fast approaching, WWF has teamed up with the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) to promote the importance of Earth Hour within religious circles. It’s inclusion in diverse and ever-growing religious communities hopes to bring to the forefront of the campaign the theme of reflection and unity, alongside a global effort to protect resources and curb energy consumption. “With over 170 countries around the world celebrating Earth Hour, it’s the perfect opportunity for us all to come together and take time to reflect on our amazing planet and how we can manage and protect it,” says Glyn Davies, WWF-UK’s Executive Director of Global Programmes.
Launching on Candlemas (February 2017), churches and cathedrals across the UK aim to integrate the message behind Earth Hour into daily congregations, encouraging a collective effort to spread the word of the campaign. Canon Giles Goddard, vicar and member of Faith of the Climate Network, says, “Earth Hour is a powerful way to bring home the reality of climate change. The Faith for the Climate Network encourages all faith centres - be they churches, mosques, synagogues, temples or wherever - to be open for Earth Hour and create a chance to reflect on the beauty and mystery of creation. I hope the initiative will inspire thousands of people across the UK to take action on caring for our planet,”
With a growing collective of interfaith participants, Earth Hour not only showcases an ongoing competency to climate change, its scope for global communications ties together many diverse networks. With the addition of several religious institutions, the campaign’s effectiveness aims expand on its annual outreach, seeing light through darkness and signifying March 25 2017 as a beacon of coalescence.