This International Year of Light, Switch Off the Lights for the Planet

This International Year of Light, as we celebrate the role of light and light-based technology in sustainable development, let us also pledge to take action for a sustainable future with the flick of a light switch. The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is pleased to support WWF’s Earth Hour, the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, by inviting our supporters to use their power and help change climate change today.

Artificial lighting is essential to modern society, but we must raise
awareness of how much of our lighting wastes energy and pollutes our view of
the beauty of the night sky.  Promoting energy-efficient and smart lighting
solutions so that the right sort of light is used only when and where it's
needed is one of the aims of the International Year of Light, and we are
delighted to lend our full support to Earth Hour in switching off the lights
to ensure a brighter future for us all.

John Dudley, Chair IYL 2015 Steering Committee


WWF’s Earth Hour was started in Sydney in 2007 as an hour when the city’s 2.2 million inhabitants came together and turned off the lights to show the then climate-sceptic government that climate change and our planet’s future was an issue they wanted to put the spotlight on. Today, the Earth Hour movement has grown tremendously engaging hundreds of millions of supporters in more than 7,000 cities and 162 countries and territories around the world. WWF teams across the world harness the power of Earth Hour to work with citizens, policymakers and businesses to drive progress on climate action. Examples include legislation to protect forests and marine areas in Russia and Argentina, raising climate awareness in schools in India and Sweden, and working with communities and wildlife affected by climate change in the Philippines and Colombia. And to think, it all started with a light switch!

2015 is a critical year for climate change. It is a year when governments are expected to decide the future of climate action and their decision, one way or the other, will impact our collective vision of a sustainable planet. Earth Hour is your opportunity to take action for your planet, to make a difference to your climate.

Climate change affects everyone, everywhere and this is why we need movements like Earth Hour which takes the issue from the conference rooms into the living rooms of people, inspiring and empowering every individual to be a part of the efforts to change climate change. As IYL 2015 puts the focus on how light can help sustainable development, WWF’s Earth Hour shows us how the light switch can be the spark for a sustainable future too- with the power of the people.

Sudhanshu Sarronwala, Chair, Board of Directors, Earth Hour Global

Join IYL 2015, WWF and Earth Hour and use #YourPower to Change Climate Change. Visit and remember to celebrate your commitment to our planet by switching off the lights on Saturday 28 March at 8:30 PM local time.

About Earth Hour

Earth Hour is WWF's global environmental movement. As one of the first open-sourced climate change campaigns, Earth Hour has grown from a symbolic event in one city to the world's largest grassroots movement for the environment. In 2014, Earth Hour engaged individuals, businesses and organizations in over 7,000 cities and 162 countries and territories during the hour and beyond. In 2015, Earth Hour aims to harness the power of its millions of supporters worldwide to change climate change.

About WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

About IYL 2015

The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations (A/RES/68/221) to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.  With UNESCO as lead agency, IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today.  The IYL Global Secretariat is located at the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

The Founding Partners of IYL 2015 are the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG), the European Physical Society (EPS), the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), the Institute of Physics (IOP), Light: Science and Applications, the International Network, 1001 Inventions, The Optical Society (OSA) and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). 

Patron Sponsors include Bosca, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), Royal Philips Lighting, Thorlabs and UL.


Sudhanshu Sarronwala
Chair, Board of Directors, Earth Hour Global
Executive Director, Marketings and Communications, WWF International

John Dudley
Steering Committee Chair
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015

Joe Niemela
Global Coordinator (IYL Secretariat)
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015