Earth Hour: landmarks go dark to highlight plight of planet
Cities around the world were marking Earth hour on Saturday by turning off lights at 8:30pm local time in a call for global action on climate change. The Earth Hour gesture calls for greater awareness and more sparing use of resources, especially fossil fuels that produce carbon gases and lead to global warming. Beginning in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has spread to more than 180 countries, with tens of millions of people joining in. In Hong Kong, major buildings along Victoria Harbour turned off their non-essential lights and the city’s popular tourist attraction known as the Symphony of Lights was cancelled. More than 3,000 corporations in Hong Kong signed up for Earth Hour 2019. Skyscrapers including the Bank of China Tower and the HSBC Building in Central, the city’s major business district, switched off their lights in response to the global movement. The City of Lights also turned off the Eiffel Tower’s nightly twinkle to mark Earth Hour. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo dimmed the lights on the city’s most famous monument for an hour.The Earth Hour events have spread to more than 180 countries since the (WWF) started the movement in 2007.The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was plunged into darkness as environmental campaigners used their own lights to depict a map of the world.In Poland’s capital Warsaw, the Palace of Culture and Science went dark along with several churches and Old Town walls.
Ahead of the Earth Hour events, Thunberg wrote on Twitter: “Earth hour is every hour of every day.”
Lights were also switched off in several landmarks in the Greek capital. The Acropolis, Athens City Hall and Lycabettus Hill, towering above the Athens centre, went dark and the parliament building joined in. However, calls by the mayor of Athens for citizens to join in by turning off the lights in their houses went mostly unheeded. Taiwan’s tallest building, Taipei 101, also marked Earth Hour. Last month, thousands of schoolchildren missed lessons to protest about government inaction on climate change. It was inspired by 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, who had been protesting outside the Swedish parliament and has since been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. The Empire State Building in New York was planning to participate in Earth Hour at 8.30pm local time (12.30am GMT).