Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu is urging all Filipinos to turn their lights off and participate in the Earth Hour on March 28 amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

The environment chief said everyone can still show their commitment to the annual global event of switching off lights and shutting down most electrical appliances from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, in support of nature and the planet while staying at home and observing the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

“This year we will be observing Earth Hour in the comfort of our homes due to the COVID-19 outbreak. I encourage everyone to join Earth Hour with your families to show your support for efforts to solve global warming,” Cimatu said.

The government has imposed an ECQ in Luzon from March 16 to April 12, restricting most of the population from going to work and postponing major activities especially social gatherings.

He said an hour of turning off lights and other energy-consuming devices will help reduce the carbon footprint of every household, and mitigate the continuously increasing effects of climate change.

“Turning off our lights, television sets, computers, and other non-essential appliances at home for just an hour will show our support to conserve our environment,” said Cimatu

Household electricity consumption is expected to peak during the ECQ with the suspension of classes and the implementation of work-from-home arrangements in both public and private offices in efforts to limit the risk of infection and the spread of COVID-19.

Cimatu also encouraged parents to explain to their children the importance of participating in significant environmental events like the Earth Hour “to raise their awareness and inspire them to take concrete actions to protect the environment and save our finite natural resources.”

“A show of support to the Earth Hour is a pledge of support for the success of the government’s programs and projects on climate action and sustainable development,” said Cimatu.

Earth Hour is an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature that started in Sydney in 2007 where households and businesses turned off their lights for an hour to stand up against climate change. Since then, millions of people from more than 180 countries have been participating in the annual event, making it one of the largest movements for the environment. ###