CULVER CITY, Calif., March 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- WWF's Earth Hour is set to break all records of participation in its eighth year, as Spider-Man tonight joined millions of everyday super heroes from across the world in the world's largest celebration for the planet.
The event that has evolved into the world's largest movement for the planet began its journey across more than 154 countries and territories from New Zealand, now sweeping across Asia with Spider-Man and the cast from the upcoming film The Amazing Spider-Man 2, including Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx, sending a message to the world that anyone can be a super hero for the planet from the global flagship Earth Hour event from WWF-Singapore. For their part, director Marc Webb and producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach ensured that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was produced in line with ambitious environmental best practices, ultimately delivering the most eco-friendly tentpole ever produced under the Columbia Pictures banner.
WWF's Earth Hour event in Singapore saw lights switched off across the famous Marina Bay skyline, joining the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, the Bird's Nest in Beijing, Taipei 101, The Wat Arun Buddhist Temple in Bangkok, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur and more that have already taken part in the global celebration for the planet.
In Australia, a massive candle lit display on the lawn of Parliament House in Canberra spelt out, 'It's Lights Out For The Reef' as thousands across the country witnessed a special documentary about the impact of climate change on the threatened natural wonder the Great Barrier Reef.
"Tonight Earth Hour will be celebrated by every continent, and people in every corner of the world will be reaching across boundaries of culture, politics, race and religion to acknowledge the power we all have when we come together for this incredible planet. Earth Hour and lights off is a powerful reminder that we can help to deliver the solutions towards creating a more sustainable future for the planet," said Andy Ridley, CEO and CoFounder of Earth Hour.
As the lights now switch off at India Gate, the beyond the hour focus for children will be felt with WWF-India's year-long education campaign for a monumental 15,000 schools across India who are switching off for Earth Hour and switching on to more energy efficient practices.
Swayambhunath Temple in Kathmandu is set to come alive for Earth Hour, as WWF-Nepal kickstarts their target of reaching 500,000 people in the country to lead environmental change through The Generation Green Campaign.
Jamie Foxx who plays Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, said "It's time to conserve, protect, and enjoy this planet of ours. Never underestimate your power, never underestimate what you can do."
Tonight in Chicago, which represents the U.S. as World Wildlife Fund's 2014 Earth Hour Capital, Spider-Man will help to flip the ceremonial switch to turn off the lights in the city as guests are able to learn about how they can be a super hero for the planet by taking actions to realize the goal of a sustainable Chicago. Participating landmarks in Chicago include Willis Tower, John Hancock Center, and portions of Navy Pier.
This year, WWF-Nepal also has the enlisted the help of none other than Spider-Man himself to support their Earth Hour Blue crowdfunding project, 'A Flame Called Hope'. This project supported by Andrew Garfield aims to provide clean biogas energy to villages in Nepal's Terai Arc.
"Earth Hour is a fantastic movement that has been created about conservation of our planet, which is something that should be on the top of our list as human beings. Let's remember that the Earth is not ours, we are of this Earth. We all have a responsibility to each other in preserving our home, so it's amazing to be a part of Earth Hour to help send that message," said Andrew Garfield.
Earth Hour has now begun to trend worldwide, with participants sharing their event experience and commitment for the planet across social media platforms that connect the world.
At the heart of the movement's digital growth is Indonesia, where Earth Hour has become a massive, year-round youth led movement enlisting the support of more than 1.5 million people across more than 31 cities in the country. Creating simple and creative environmental actions through film, performances, social media and public gatherings, the teams promote environmental activities related to saving electricity, reduction in use of plastic, using less paper and tissue, planting more trees and using public transportation throughout the year.
"Earth Hour is much more than an hour. Every person can do their part no matter how big or small to save the planet," said Emma Stone.
This year sees Earth Hour launch a new crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the Planet, asking people to use their power to back a project or add their voice to solution based environmental projects across the world.
From donating to build climate smart fiberglass boats for Typhoon Haiyan affected fishermen in the Philippines, to giving Rangers in Indonesia better equipment to protect the forests and wildlife of Borneo and Sumatra and even helping fund indigenous communities in Colombia to generate sustainable means of livelihood that prevents deforestation in the Amazon – Earth Hour is calling on participants across the world to be super heroes for the Planet by getting involved in Earth Hour Blue when the lights come back on.
"I'm delighted to see that the Earth Hour Blue crowd-funding platform is seeing real results," said Director General Designate, Dr Marco Lambertini. "The WWF-Singapore led effort to fight wildlife crime in Southeast Asia has reached its minimum target from people who contributed online. Thanks to this funding, we can now start monitoring and providing emergency cover for families of rangers who have perished in the line of duty."
Earth Hour will next hit the Middle East, Africa and Europe, where the Temple of Karnak in Luxor will switch off for the first time, joining the Great Pyramids of Giza, the world's tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow, South Africa's Table Mountain, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Buckingham Palace in London, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland before the hour of inspiration makes its way across the Atlantic to South America.
There, the Christ the Redeemer (statue) in Rio de Janeiro, The Angel of Independence in Mexico City will be key landmarks taking part in the continent, and The Empire State Building and Times Square in New York City, Niagara Falls, Los Angeles International Airport, the Las Vegas Strip and more will join in the world's largest celebration for the planet from North America, before Earth Hour wraps up on the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia.
Earth Hour in 2014 sees the completion of the shift from event to movement status across the world, with the celebration cementing its place as a platform for beyond the hour activities for amazing environmental outcomes to protect parts of the planet including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Arctic in Finland and the Amazon Rainforest in Colombia.
The focus on outcomes was inspired by Earth Hour's success in past years that led to better legislation through the Russian Parliament to protect seas from oil pollution, the creation of a 3.4 million hectare marine protected area in Argentina and the world's first Earth Hour Forest in Uganda to fight against massive deforestation in the country. All of these outcomes were powered by the crowd, showing that change for the planet can be achieved when the individual and collective realizes their power.
People are encouraged to use their power by backing a project or add their voice at www.earthhour.org and sharing their #EarthHour activities on Instagram.
From script to screen, the environmental efforts in the making of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 have been supported at every level and made the film the most eco-friendly tentpole in the studio's history. Sony Pictures has extended these efforts in making the production and publicity tour carbon neutral, as well as "EcoSpidey" external outreach with a sizzle reel, game and Twitter campaign. Internally, the studio co-developed a unique online experience for employees to learn about Earth Hour and take action with the partnership, which has been made available to hundreds of thousands of employees at over 14 of the world's largest corporations, powered by Practically Green.
About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a global environmental movement of WWF. Headquartered in Singapore, Earth Hour is one of the first opensourced environmental campaigns; it has grown from a symbolic event in one city into a global movement, crowdsourcing actions from individuals, businesses, organizations and governments to generate environmental outcomes. In 2014, Earth Hour Blue sees the movement enter the most exciting stage of its evolution, to be at the forefront of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing for causes, innovation and creativity for the planet.
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost 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 The Amazing Spider-Man 2
We've always known that Spider-Man's most important conflict has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that his greatest battle is about to begin.
It's great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there's no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: Oscorp. Directed by Marc Webb. Produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. Screenplay by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner. Screen Story by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner and James Vanderbilt. Based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The film will be released in theaters internationally beginning April 16, 2014, and in the U.S. on May 2, 2014. #SpiderMan
About Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.
About Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing, including licensing the Spider-Man universe to Sony Pictures. For more information visit www.marvel.com. ©MARVEL
SOURCE Sony Pictures Entertainment