UEFA will give its backing to social responsibility partner WWF
– the global conservation organisation – by taking part in the Earth Hour
initiative on Saturday evening to highlight the issues of climate change and protecting the environment.
European football's governing body is joining in the campaign being organised by the WWF network across the globe. The lights at UEFA's headquarters – the House of European Football in Nyon, on the banks of Lake Geneva in Switzerland – will be switched off for one hour from 20.30CET on Saturday.
Earth Hour is a worldwide grassroots movement uniting people to protect the planet, and is organised by WWF. The event is held worldwide towards the end of March annually, encouraging individuals, communities households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.
Earth Hour was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Since then, it has grown to engage more than 7,000 cities and towns globally, and the one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the now larger movement. Earth Hour aims to inspire an interconnected global community to share the opportunities and challenges of creating a sustainable world.
Organisers have now launched Earth Hour Blue – a new digital crowd-funding and crowd-sourcing platform for the planet, which seeks to engage people around the world beyond the lights-out event. The crowd-funding section of the platform allows participants to financially support and deliver positive, tangible changes to the environment and communities all over the globe. Individuals can also use Earth Hour Blue's crowdsourcing platform, which will call for people to add their voice to some of the biggest environmental campaigns across the world.
"I am delighted that UEFA is taking part in Earth Hour as the campaign completes its shift from a one-hour event to a year-round movement, inspiring environmental action across the world," said UEFA Executive Committee member and chairman of the UEFA Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee, Peter Gilliéron.
"Earth Hour is asking every one of us to go beyond the hour to protect the planet. Through the new digital platform Earth Hour Blue at www.earthhour.org
, we can each make a difference to the environment and to communities all over the world. We encourage the football family to join this Earth Hour and to use their power."
"Earth Hour has always been more than just about lights off, it's about people from all walks of life coming together throughout the year to show what they can do to protect the planet," said Andy Ridley, CEO and co-founder of Earth Hour.
"What makes Earth Hour different is that it empowers people to take charge and to use their power to make a difference. The movement inspires a mixture of collective and individual action, so anyone can do their part."
Founded in 1961, WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation bodies, with a global network active in more than 100 countries, and focused on protecting the planet's extraordinary wildlife species and habitats and reducing humanity's footprint.