Successful Earth Hour 2024 unite Filipinos against threats of climate change and plastic pollution

April, 01 2024

Earth Hour 2024 in the Philippines was successfully celebrated last March 23, 2024 with many cities and municipalities making a concerted effort to switch off their lights for one hour and joining the biggest global grassroots movement for the climate and environment.
“We Filipinos truly are a global people because through Earth Hour, we express how committed we are to the cause of saving our planet along with millions of others around the world,” Earth Hour Philippines National Director Atty. Angela Consuelo Ibay said. “Each person’s contribution adds up to the bigger goal of reducing fossil fuel use.”

“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,” Ibay said. “The same can also be said for our proper disposal of plastic waste. Each Filipino who reduces, reuses, and recycles their plastics will contribute to significant reductions in plastic waste.”

According to the Department of Energy, there was a total nationwide drop in electricity grid load of 132.11 megawatts (MW) during the 8:30pm-9:30pm switch off for Earth Hour 2024. Luzon saw the most significant drop with 73.86 MW, while Visayas and Mindanao saw load drops of 53.30 MW and 4.95 MW, respectively. A small household can consume around 150-250 kilowatts in a month. In 2023, the DOE reported a total electricity load drop of 62.69 MW during the 1-hour switch off.

The Philippines ranked third globally logging a total of 116,273 hours in the “Hour Bank”; a global platform introduced by WWF that counts the hours people have given for the planet by doing environment-friendly activities such as cleanup activities, preparing plant-based meals, joining seminars about climate change, jogging or walking in nature, etc. The Hour Bank encourages individuals everywhere to do something positive for the planet for 60 minutes while doing what they love.

Earth Hour, which started in Sydney, Australia in 2007, has grown into a worldwide phenomenon where people switch off non-essential lighting for one hour as a sign of their commitment to protecting the planet.

This year’s Earth Hour also put a focus on plastic waste reduction measures and solutions. The Philippines has previously been cited as among the worst plastic polluters in the world with over 2 million tonnes of plastic waste generated in 2019 and only 9% getting recycled. Plastics that end up in landfills become a source of greenhouse gasses while those that leak into the open ocean become a deadly threat to animals.

WWF-Philippines has been implementing projects in partnership with  the City of Manila including the Plastic Smart Cities (PSC)  which aims to achieve 30% reduction of plastic waste leakage into the open environment by 2024, thus contributing to the 100% reduction of plastic waste leakage in the City of Manila by 2030. The project is funded by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) TV-Aksjonen, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), and WWF-Norway.

“It is truly inspiring to see Filipinos coming together and expressing our collective commitment for a clean and healthy future for the Philippines,” WWF-Philippines Executive Director Katherine Custodio said.

“We believe that no one single person, office, or organization can tackle the problems that the environment is facing. The way that all sectors of society are convening for Earth Hour gives me hope that we can all work together meaningfully, with impact ,” Custodio said.

According to the Manila Police District, the Earth Hour celebration at the Kartilya ng Katipunan saw over 2,000 Filipinos join the activities such as the solutions fair, and musical performances by local artists including Earth Hour Philippines 2024 Music Ambassador, SB19 leader Pablo.

The Philippines first celebrated Earth Hour in 2008 and has continued to partner with local and national government offices, businesses, civil-society organizations, the academe, and especially the very vocal and influential youth every year since.

Earth Hour 2024 is co-presented by the Manila City Government, together with official visibility partner Globaltronics, supported by Save the Children, Oxfam Pilipinas, Plan International World Vision, British Embassy Manila, and the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. With private sector supporters, Vista Mall, Ayala Malls, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, and official food and beverage sponsors Saladstop, Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc, and Red Ribbon.

The following government offices support this event: the Department of Energy, Climate Change Commission, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Supreme Court of the Philippines, Department of Health, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, National Parks Development Committee, National Economic Development Authority, Department of Interior and Local Government, Laguna Lake Development Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Budget and Management, and Department of Tourism.

Earth Hour 2024 in Manila was made possible through WWF-Philippines’ project partners from the No Plastics in Nature Initiative: Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), TV-Aksjonen, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), and WWF-Norway.

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 and change the ending of our planet's future.

For more information, please contact:
Atty. Angela Consuelo Ibay
Climate and Energy Program Head

For media arrangements, please contact:
Ms. Chezka Guevarra
Assistant Manager for External Communications

More than 2,000 Filipinos actively took part in the Earth Hour celebration at Kartilya ng Katipunan, immersing themselves in activities such as the solutions fair and savoring musical performances by local artists, including Earth Hour Philippines 2024 Music Ambassador and SB19 leader, Pablo
© WWF-Philippines/Matikas Santos
In addition to the iconic lights-out event, this year's Earth Hour celebration featured a sustainability fair showcasing innovative plastic solutions presented by various social enterprises, civic organizations, and non-governmental organizations.
© WWF-Philippines/Ella Tinio
SB19 leader and the first-ever Earth Hour Philippines Music Ambassador, Pablo, serenades the audience. The PPop phenom hopes to use his platform to raise awareness on pressing issues such as the climate crisis.
© WWF-Philippines/Ella Tinio