New Delhi: Started in 2007, Earth Hour is celebrated on the last Saturday of March every year. Earth Hour 2013 will mark the seventh year of the campaign.

Earth Hour brings together communities from across the world celebrating a commitment to the planet by switching off lights for one designated hour. Over the years, the event has grown bigger with more people joining the campaign by turning off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change.

Jagran Post takes a look back at how the Earth Hour has attracted masses for a big and noble cause.

2007 | On March 31 2007, WWF-Australia inspired Sydney-siders to show their support for climate change action. More than 2.2 million individuals and 2,000 businesses turned their lights out for one hour in the first Earth Hour event.

2008 | It marked the first anniversary of the event. With 35 countries participating as official flagship cities and over 400 cities also supporting, Earth Hour 2008 witnessed the participation of 50 million people in seven continents. Earth Hour also received free publicity from the Google. From 12:00 a.m. on 29 March 2008 until the end of Earth Hour, the Google homepage was turned to a black background.

2009 | Over 1 billion people from 4,159 cities and towns from 88 countries of the world joined in to show support. Nearly 5 Million people supported the campaign in India. 88 countries and 4,159 cities participated in Earth Hour 2009, ]ten times more cities than 2008. Among the participants in 2009 was, for the first time, the UN Headquarters in New York City.

| Earth Hour 2010 was reportedly the biggest Earth Hour yet, aiming to garner more than the one billion participant goal of 2009's Earth Hour. 126 countries participated in Earth Hour 2010.[56]

2011 | Earth Hour 2011 was the biggest year in the campaign's five year history. It took place in a record 5,251 cities and towns in 135 countries and territories in all seven continents.[63] It had an estimated reach of 1.8 billion people across the globe. In addition to this, the campaign's digital footprint grew to 91 million.

| It took place in more than 7000 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories, making it the biggest growth year for the campaign since 2009. In February, Earth Hour launched its 2012 campaign "I Will If You Will", There were 4.6 million hits on the platform during the week of Earth Hour, with more than 200,000 people personally pledging to take a direct action beyond the hour.


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