Interview with Andy Ridley from Earth Hour

Published on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 10:33
Written by Andy Ridley

Earth Hour is taking place all over the world at 8.30pm on the 23rd March. With just 18 days to go we caught up with Andy Ridley, Co-founder and CEO of Earth Hour Global, the charity behind the one-hour light switch off that started off big and is growing every year.

Hi @earthhourandy! Firstly tell us a little bit about how and why Earth Hour was started.

In '07 we were trying to find a way to unite hundreds of millions of people to protect the planet so we came up with a symbolic act of switching lights off as the first step in the Earth Hour journey

How many people took part in that first earth hour?

Good question @STFSeries! The first Earth Hour was in Sydney alone and 2.2 million people took part - more than half the population

Wow! So from day one you knew this was going to be a big deal? How did other countries start getting involved?

We hoped it would but we didn't know until the lights went off. 2 days later Toronto contacted us to take part in Earth Hour '08. It snowballed from there with more than 370 cities in 35 countries joining Earth Hour '08. We were stunned by the growth.

That's quick! What is it about Earth Hour that engages people and makes them want to be a part of it?

I think because Earth Hour is open and accessible to everyone all over the world and focuses on the possibility of change

It's simple and it works! Perfect! What kinds of pledges are people making for Earth Hour; on the day and beyond?

It ranges from kids changing classrooms with LED lights to thousands of people in Russia changing their nation's laws.

How important is education for kids around climate change?

Thankfully there is a generation that has been educated around climate change, they will inevitably have to deal with the consequences of our actions. But they are already incredibly influential.

How can we strengthen government policy to make cutting carbon easy, rather than being viewed as an expense?

Big question @STFSeries! The reality is unless we cut carbon, the cost for both our pocket and the planet is going to get higher. What we sometimes fail to see is that a sustainable world is a much better place to live in from all perspectives. Sustainability is rarely presented as aspirational. If it were, I believe citizens would demand more from their leaders.

Big thanks Andy for taking part! Good luck with Earth Hour.

It was a pleasure. Make sure you share your Earth Hour 2013 activity with us, (tweet @earthhour or go to the website) so we too can share it with our community.

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