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An hour for the climate

On 25 March, Earth Hour will see people around the world demonstrate for climate action. Viviane Raddatz from the WWF explains what else we can do. 

Maren van TreelInterview: Maren van Treel , 19.03.2023
Viviane Raddatz is head of climate and energy at the WWF.
Viviane Raddatz is head of climate and energy at the WWF. © Daniel Seiffert/WWF

Since 2007, the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) has staged Earth Hour each year, a peaceful protest for climate action and environmental protection. Viviane Raddatz heads the climate and energy policy department at WWF Germany.  

Ms Raddatz, where do you see the achievements of Earth Hour?
Earth Hour is a symbolic campaign that allows people all over the world to show that they care about climate action and environmental protection. The message this sends to policymakers should not be underestimated – especially when very large numbers of people join in. And indeed more and more people worldwide are taking part each year. 

Earth Hour always sees a demo at the Brandenburg Gate, too.
Earth Hour always sees a demo at the Brandenburg Gate, too. © picture alliance/dpa

What is your assessment of the current global situation in terms of the climate crisis and climate action?
Since the first Earth Hour, global emissions have risen sharply, so Earth Hour is an important signal that the majority of people are increasingly committed to protecting the climate and the environment. The Paris Agreement has been in place since 2015. This has got things moving, but it still has too little impact in terms of reducing emissions. In the meantime, Germany decided to phase out coal and adopted a Climate Change Act, though as a country we repeatedly fail to achieve its goals – as the latest figures from the German Environment Agency have shown just this month. The Federal Government is not making the good progress with climate protection that is necessary in view of the fossil energy crisis and the climate crisis.   

Besides Earth Hour, what do you advise people to do to protect the climate?
It is important for people to call upon their MPs, cities and municipalities to make a political commitment to ensuring that climate protection measures are implemented and the goals of the Climate Change Act are achieved. Whatever is decided in the area of climate policy must also be implemented. What we need now is an immediate climate protection programme, more rapid expansion of renewable energies, and significant progress in the transport and buildings sector. Of course, people can also make their own contribution by eating less meat, driving their cars less and avoiding flying, taking for example an active holiday somewhere that doesn’t involve travelling by plane or car. However, it is always important to get engaged politically and campaign to make a climate-friendly lifestyle easier. 


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