Instead of the usual blog about PowerPoint design or marketing, we’ve decided to focus on something bigger, something more important – our planet and Earth Hour.
It’s a strange and scary time currently with countries all over the world isolating its citizens and bunkering due to a rapidly spreading virus that affects our respiratory systems. But let’s not forget, Australians particularly could be more vulnerable due to the smoke we inhaled en masse over the last summer.
If we’ve learned anything from the latest pandemic that’s gripped our planet, it’s that our old ways of living and working don’t work and it’s having adverse effects on people and environment.
Our systems and markets are far too exploitive and interdependent for sustainable function, demonstrating the weakness of our species and the fragility of our planet. So now, more than ever, we need to remember Earth Hour – after all, it’s safe to assume that most of you will already be home.
Earth Hour 2020 – 8:30pm (your local time), Saturday 29th March
What began as a simple ‘lights-off’ event by WWF in Sydney back in 2007 has grown into a grassroots movement that reaches more 188 countries and territories across the globe – raising awareness for energy consumption and its effects on the environment.
The 2019 Earth Hour Report noted that thousands of landmarks around the world switch off its lights such as Sydney Opera House, Tokyo Sky Tree, Brandenburg Gate, Empire State Building, Eiffel Tower, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Pyramids of Giza, and Christ The Redeemer statue.
Last year, #EarthHour, #Connect2Earth and related hashtags trended in 26 countries, generating over 2 billion impressions. To help demonstrate how energy consumption is impacting our planet, we’ve compiled some interesting (and often alarming) facts.
1. Dirty money is blocking environmental progress
In 2019, the world’s five largest publicly owned oil and gas companies spend approximately US$200 million on lobbying designed to control, delay or block climate-motivated policy.
BP: $53 million
Shell: $49 million
ExxonMobil: $41 million
Chevron: $29 million
Total S.A.: $29 million
2. We are facing a biodiversity crisis
The current extinction rate estimates are between 200 and 2,000 species every year.
3. Fuel jobs continue to grow as renewables’ momentum slows
In the US, the fuels sector employed 1,127,600 – an increase of 52,000 (4.8%) from 2018 to 2019. While the electric power generation employed 875,600, losing almost 8,300 jobs over the 2019.
4. Australia’s smoky summer did a world of harm
Over 18 million hectares were burned during the 2019-2020 bushfire seasons. Fires from NSW and Queensland emitted 306 million tonnes of CO2 since 1st August (over half Australia’s total 2018 greenhouse gas footprint)
5. Pollution is the largest environmental cause of death and disease
In 2017, pollution was responsible for an estimated 8.3 million premature deaths and 275 million disability-adjusted life years
(Source: The Lancet)
6. We need to rethink where we send aid
In 2019, it was found that the average aid investment was $14/death for modern pollution, compared with $1,250/death for malaria, $190/death for tuberculosis, and $165/death for HIV/AIDS.
(Source: Boston College)
7. Renewable energy investments fall despite its increased capacity
New investment in renewable power and fuels fell from US$326 billion to US$289 billion in 2017-2018. However, in 2018, global renewable power capacity totalled 2,378 GW, approximately one third of the world’s total energy capacity.
8. China dominates global renewable energy market
In 2017, it was estimated that there were over 8 million direct and indirect jobs in renewable energy worldwide, with almost half of these in China alone.
9. Mining companies harm more than land
In 2019, it was revealed that 87% of the world’s largest cobalt, copper, lithium, manganese, nickel, and zinc mining companies have been linked to human rights abuses since 2010 – from harming access to clean water and land rights to corruption, violence, and deaths.
10. Solar panels continue getting cheaper
Since 1980, the cost of solar photovoltaic modules has fallen by 99%
11. Earth Hour has reduced energy demands
Observing changes in electricity demand caused by Earth Hour events in 10 countries spanning six years found overall consumption reduced 4% with a median reduction of -2.6%
(Source: Energy Research & Social Science)
12. Earth Hour is a global catalyst for improvement
The Earth Hour movement has helped:
- build a 3.5 million hectare marine-protected area in Argentina
- create a 2,700-hectare Earth Hour forest in Uganda
- ban all plastics in the Galapagos in 2014
- plant 17 million trees in Kazakhstan
- light up homes with solar power in India and the Philippines
- push new legislation for the protection of seas and forests in Russia
- move French Polynesia to protect 5 million square kilometres of its seas to preserve ocean ecosystems in 2018
To reinforce these key facts and figures, we’ve designed a brief animation for you to enjoy and share. As always, it was designed this was designed and animated in PowerPoint.
Remember, it’s everyone’s planet and now – more than ever – we’re seeing just how precious it is to all of us. To register for Earth Hour or learn more about this movement, click here.