Earth Hour: Lights off, climate action on

Earth Hour: Lights off, climate action on

The largest global environment movement is happening on Saturday, when the UN invites people around the world to shut the lights to remember the planetary crisis during Earth Hour as young partners find new ways to drive climate action.

“Turn off the lights, and move the world towards a better future for all,” UN Secretary General António Guterres said in a message for the event.

The UN chief recalled that 2023 was the hottest in history, and this year’s celebration is a global demonstration of solidarity to follow a different path.

“On Earth Hour, millions of people around the world switch off the lights to shine a light on the plight of our planet; this year, I invite you to be one of them,” Mr. Guterres said. “The need is urgent.”

UN Headquarters switches off

The UN Secretariat will be in the dark from 8:30pm New York time on Saturday, when all the lights in the 40-storey on the East River will be turned off for 60 minutes.

“Our climate is collapsing,” Mr. Guterres said, and Earth Hour “demonstrates the power each of us has in the fight for our future”. 

“Together, let’s turn off the lights and turn the world towards a brighter future for us all,” he said.

World Meteorological Day

The UN will also celebrate World Meteorological Day, marked annually on 23 March, under the theme At the frontline of climate action.

Led by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the date serves as a stark reminder that climate change is a real and undeniable threat to our entire civilization.

WMO Secretary-General Celeste Saulo said weather and climate indicators are “off the charts”, but it’s not too late for humankind to live in harmony with nature.

Adopting a net zero approach with a transition to renewables “at the core level of decision making and action” is a must, she told UN News, calling for “every young person on Earth to engage”.

The UN agency also highlighted that weather and climate forecasts help in many ways, from increasing food production and getting closer to zero hunger to managing climate-sensitive diseases. In addition, early warning systems are key to helping reduce poverty by giving people the chance to prepare for and limit the impact of extreme weather conditions.

New ‘Weather Kids’ campaign

Leading up to the Day, WMO, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched the Weather Kids campaign, with broadcasters and online platforms around the world airing a different type of weather forecast.

Take a look at one young Weather Kid here.

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said the campaign gives children a new platform to voice climate concerns.

“Without accelerated action, children born in the year 2020 could experience up to seven times more extreme weather events like scorching heatwaves during their lifetimes compared to their grandparents,” Mr. Steiner said. “This new Weather Kids campaign is part of our response to listen and act upon the growing concerns of young people across the world for their rights and their futures.”

SDG 13
United Nations
SDG 13



  • Strengthen resilience and adaptation to climate-related hazards and natural disasters
  • Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaption, impact reduction and early warning
  • Raise capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries


The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.

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