The world is going to observe Earth Hour on March 28, tomorrow, in exceptional circumstances with countries around the world experiencing a health crisis with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
In light of the latest developments, it has been recommended all individuals, governments and institutions to take part in Earth Hour digitally this year.
In Qatar, local Earth Hour team will commemorate Earth Hour 2020 completely online. Earth Hour in Qatar is partnering with Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar, Global Shapers Doha Hub and online platform startup AmpUp Videos that will allow people to join Earth Hour activities online using their virtual platforms.
“In light of this ongoing health crisis, the Earth Hour Qatar recommends all individuals to participate virtually this year, keeping in mind public health and safety which are of foremost importance. We ask every individual in Qatar to be creative and take some time to de-stress like play board games, doing online yoga, have a candlelit dinner, watch an environmental awareness movie, do some stargazing or sign our voice for the planet petition etc. We invite every individual and child and family in Qatar to show us how they are participating by recording a video using the AmpUp Videos link https://ampup.video/c/earthhour-2020/ and we will share the videos on our social media channels. Also, we call thousands in Qatar unite digitally for #VoiceForThePlanet, a global campaign demanding urgent #ClimateAction from world leaders in 2020 using the link https://www.earthhour.org/voice,” said Neeshad Shafi, Earth Hour Qatar Co-ordinator.
The co-ordinator further said: “As we fight Covid-19 crisis in Qatar and we thank the State of Qatar and health professionals for keeping us all safe, it is timely we can highlight that the issues like climate change and environmental degradation are real and need swift action. I hope that the shockwave of the health crisis will jolt people out of their desire to ignore climate change. Also, hope our growing sense of urgency, of solidarity and co-operation needed to take action, can be one thing that rises out of this terrible situation.
“We can change hearts and minds if we all stand together. We are witnessing it. A change for a better environment is possible. We can do it. I hope Earth Hour Qatar online initiative will be as exciting through the virtual platform and will continue to inspire people from all corners of the globe to come together and lend their support for the planet.”
Shedding light on the current coronavirus crisis, Shafi said: “Current coronavirus holds key lessons on how to fight climate change. What we truly need when the Covid-19 pandemic is past is that societies must adopt some important measures that would lower emissions, from more teleconferencing to shortening global supply chains etc. But the most lasting lesson may be what the coronavirus teaches us is about the urgency of taking swift action and we have unprecedented historical opportunity to accelerate the energy transition putting us onto a safe path toward a 50% reduction of emissions by 2030, further we must make sure the stimulus economic packages aimed at easing corona virus economic impact should aim to drive emissions reductions too. We need to urge our governments and international financial institutions to incorporate climate action into their stimulus efforts by funding investment in clean power, battery storage, and carbon capture technology. Though crisis did open our eyes but there is a clear difference in that the coronavirus crisis needs to be addressed through personal isolation, but the climate needs to be tackled through coming together and collaborating. Social distancing measures have caused economic paralysis, while our response to climate change should actually strengthen and improve the economy.”
He added: “Global challenges have no national borders. Some people used to think that they would be immune to global crises like climate change unfolding on the other side of the globe. The corona crisis showcases that no one is geographically immune and the same is true for climate change.”
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