From Beijing to Paris, world to go dark for Earth Hour

March 26, 2010 by Amy Coopes
An illuminated Eiffel pictured before being switched off late in March 2009. World-famous landmarks including the Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower and Beijing's Forbidden City will go dark Saturday as millions turn out the lights for "Earth Hour", a rolling grassroots movement aimed at fighting climate change.

Global landmarks from Sydney's Opera House to the Forbidden City, to the glittering Las Vegas Strip, will be plunged into darkness Saturday as activists bid to reinvigorate the climate change fight.

Hundreds of millions of homes, in scores of cities scattered around 125 countries will also join the great Earth Hour switch-off, which comes just months after disappointing UN climate talks in Copenhagen.

Iconic structures like the Empire State Building and Egypt's pyramids will heed conservation group WWF's call to turn off the lights in the name of environmentalism, creating a wave of darkness that will roll across the world.

United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon called the campaign, now in its fourth year and expected to attract record participation, "both a warning and a beacon of hope".

"Climate change is a concern for each of us. Solutions are within our grasp and are ready to be implemented by individuals, communities, businesses and governments around the globe," Ban said.

Sydney's Opera House and Harbour Bridge will informally kick off proceedings when they go dark at 8:30 pm (0930 GMT) along with millions of Australian households.

The pattern will be replicated at the same local time across the world, spreading across Asia to the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas and including 1,200 famous landmarks.

Beijing's Forbidden City and Bird's Nest Stadium are among the participants along with dozens of cities in China, the world's biggest carbon polluter, where giant panda Mei Lan is an Earth Hour ambassador.

Hong Kong's renowned neon waterfront will temporarily dim as will the Singapore Flyer observation wheel and office buildings in Jakarta and Seoul, before India's massive urban centres of Delhi and Mumbai join the power-down.

London's Big Ben and Manchester United's Old Trafford football ground are set to take part amongst Europe's best known spots including Paris's Notre Dame cathedral and the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

In America, some 30 states are on board with Mount Rushmore, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and Chicago's 110-storey Sears Tower all due to go dark.

But in Bangkok, city authorities are under military orders to halt their Earth Hour campaign for security reasons, as anti-government protesters plan another major rally.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney and now enjoys widespread support both from the public and big business, including Google, Coca-Cola and McDonald's.

This year, even users of ubiquitous Twitter and Facebook are able to show their support with special applications that turn their displays dark.

In December, two weeks of talks in Copenhagen failed to produce a binding commitment to limit global warming or set out concrete plans for doing so.

Explore further: Billion people invited to switch off lights

Related Stories

Billion people invited to switch off lights

March 26, 2009

Around a billion people living in the world's major cities are being invited to turn off their lights at 8:30 p.m. local time on Saturday for "Earth Hour," described as the biggest mass campaign to demand action on climate ...

Chicago to turn off lights for one hour

February 16, 2008

Chicago plans to join more than 20 other cities and shut off exterior lights on public buildings for an hour in an effort to raise environmental awareness.

Earth Hour had impact, utilities say

March 31, 2008

Utility officials in northern Illinois said residents reduced the same amount of carbon dioxide as 104 acres of trees during the Earth Hour power turnoff.

One hour a world of difference to energy awareness

March 26, 2010

Switching off lights and appliances for one hour in itself will make little difference but Earth Hour will make an impact through energy customer awareness and action, says a Queensland University of Technology energy expert.

Recommended for you

New research could predict La Nina drought years in advance

November 16, 2017

Two new studies from The University of Texas at Austin have significantly improved scientists' ability to predict the strength and duration of droughts caused by La Niña - a recurrent cooling pattern in the tropical Pacific ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Mar 26, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Mar 27, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 27, 2010
Another feel good con brought to you by International Communism and the 'Green' movement.

5 / 5 (4) Mar 27, 2010
I see the oil company shills are posting their usual pleasantries again...
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 27, 2010
Probably won't be an ideal time to take a leisurly stroll through the city. Be careful out there, folks.
1 / 5 (6) Mar 27, 2010
I did not bother to participate this year. Last year, I celebrated by turning on all lights and all appliences in and out of the house.

This year would not have been much of a celebration for me as there is no light fixture--with the exception of four very rarely used (but which are slated for replacement)--in the house that takes more than 20 watts of power.

All incandescents were replaced either by LED or by low-consumption CFL where LED lighting just was not bright enough. With the exception of low-power incandescants in intermittently-used appliances like the ovens and refrigerator, there are no longer any incandescants in the house.

I thought I would get a pre-emptive jump on pending legislation that would have added significant additional cost to my utility bills. :)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.