Climate and Environment

Earth Hour calls for action on plastic pollution, climate change

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Earth Hour calls for action on plastic pollution, climate change
This picture shows the Quezon Memorial Shrine after the lights were turned off to mark the Earth Hour environmental campaign in Quezon city, suburban Manila on March 25, 2023.
AFP/Earvin Perias

MANILA, Philippines — This year’s Earth Hour, happening on Saturday, calls on Filipinos to conserve energy and combat plastic pollution.

Earth Hour 2024 will focus on addressing plastic pollution, a “pressing concern and public health issue” in the country, conservation organization World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) Philippines said. 

“As we are an archipelago of 7,640 islands, the damage caused by plastic pollution to our environment is magnified,” said Katherine Custodio, executive director of WWF-Philippines.

According to WWF-Philippines, 2.15 million tons of plastic waste, the third largest component of the country’s solid waste, were generated in 2019 alone. However, only 9% of these plastics are recycled due to limitations in recycling high-value plastics.

“As one of the countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, we need to ask ourselves how can we as Filipinos help save the planet by addressing our contribution to plastic pollution and we hope to use Earth Hour as the platform for awareness and actions,” said Atty. Angela Ibay, national director of WWF-Philippines.

Twin crises

Scientists have found that biodiversity loss and climate change are two of the planet’s biggest problems. 

Custodio stressed that humans will be okay only if the “planet is okay.”

“Too many of us have forgotten that we are deeply connected with nature, but the way we live, the way we produce and consume, the way we create the spaces we live—all have made a tremendous impact on our environment, on biodiversity,” she said. 

The Philippines is among the countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with poor and rural communities bearing the brunt of disasters. 

The impacts of the climate crisis extend far beyond changes in temperature or weather patterns. It disrupts ecosystems, affects food production and human health, intensifies disasters, threatens coastal communities with rising sea levels and exacerbates social inequalities. 

The Philippines also faces degradation of ecosystems due to deforestation, mining, land conversions, unsustainable resource use, and overfishing.

Earth Hour is an annual event that encourages individuals to turn off non-essential electrical lights for one hour on the last Saturday of March.

The city government of Manila is the main partner for this year’s Earth Hour, which will be held at the Kartilya ng Katipunan in Manila.

Several iconic landmarks, including the city hall clock tower and Rizal Monument, will switch off their lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m to express the local government’s commitment to protect and restore the environment. 

The Earth Hour celebration started in Sydney, Australia in 2007. The Philippines joined in 2008, making this year’s Earth Hour the 16th year it is observed in the country.

vuukle comment





  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with