More than 4,000 cities from 131 countries and about 750 major landmarks turned off their lights during the global Earth Hour event on Saturday, March 26.
Earth Hour is organized annually on the last Saturday of March by the WWF. The initiative traces its origin back to Australia in 2007 when businesses and residents in Sydney turned off their lights for one hour to make a statement about energy use and global warming. Four years later, it is the largest voluntary event in history.
“The amount of power that’s saved during that time is not really what it’s about,” Earth Hour co-founder and executive director Andy Ridley was cited by the ABC Sydney as saying.
“What it is meant to be about is showing what can happen when people come together,” he continued.
At 8:30 p.m. local time, people around the world turned off the lights to promote energy conservation.
Russia participated in the event from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the most easterly city on the Kamchatka peninsula, through Moscow to Murmansk in the far north. Over 75 buildings and bridges in Moscow participated in the event. The event was held in Russia for the third time. RIA Novosti also took part in Earth Hour.
“As the event traversed 11 time zones, riders in 20 cities saddled up on bicycles adorned with LED lamps – with the northernmost ride in Murmansk going ahead despite the forecasts of a strong snowstorm,” the Earth Hour website reads. “The westernmost ride was staged in Archangelsk near the Finnish border. Over the border, the the lights went out at the distinctive Helsinki cathedral, Finland and a special Tampere market place Energiatehdas (Energy factory) was set up with the energy being provided by dancers and stationary cyclists. “
“These cyclists are heroes,” said WWF’s Russia office. “In Moscow it is minus eight degrees.”
From across the Pacific, to Australia, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas, iconic landmarks went dark. In Asia, Bangkok, Singapore, Mumbai, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Seoul, New Delhi, Auckland and Shanghai supported the WWF’s initiative.
London’s top tourist attractions turned off their lights to mark Earth Hour on Saturday.
Famous illuminated advertisements on Piccadilly Circus, the London Eye, as well as other popular facilities and buildings across the United Kingdom will be plunged into darkness at 20:30 GMT for one hour.
The lights were switched off on the Eiffel Tower and on many other Parisian monuments
Famous buildings including the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Pantheon, and many others had their lights turned off from 8.30 p.m.
In addition, WWF members were set up 1,600 paper mache pandas on Trocadero Square in Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower. They represented each of the remaining 1,600 pandas left in the wild.
Among the cities taking part in Earth Hour 2011, many have already committed to taking action beyond the hour. In Sydney, plans are in the works to switch to LED lights in parks and streets. Medellin, Colombia, has committed to long-term water protection and tree planting initiatives to go “beyond 60 minutes,” WWF said.
MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti)