Lights were turned off in the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and Brandenberg Gate
Major landmarks across the globe turned off their lights for sixty minutes last night to mark Earth Hour, a worldwide event that aims to draw attention to climate change caused by the burning of coal, oil and gas to drive cars and power plants.
More than 3,000 landmarks in an unprecedented 187 countries and territories switched off their lights and millions of individuals, businesses and organizations across seven continents stepped forward at 8.30pm on Saturday March 25th to take part in the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF)’s Earth Hour.
This year’s event marked the tenth anniversary of the Earth Hour movement, which started as a one-city event in Sydney in 2007 and has since grown to become the world's largest grassroots movement for the environment.
Darkness fell on iconic landmarks last night that included the Sydney Opera House (Sydney), Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament (London), the Tokyo Tower (Tokyo), the Empire State Building (New York), and Singapore Flyer (Singapore).
Other notable landmarks that turned out their lights were the Pyramids of Egypt (Cairo), Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (Abu Dhabi), Monumento a la Independencia (Mexico City) and the Eiffel Tower (Paris), which plunged into darkness for a full five minutes in a symbolic display.
To mark the tenth anniversary of the movement, people also took to their social media timelines to express their solidarity with climate action, as skylines around the world participated in the global lights out event.
From donating five posts on their Facebook page to changing their profile picture, thousands switched on their social power to raise their voice for a cause they believe in.
Sid Das, Earth Hour's Executive Director, said that: “Once again, the people have spoken through Earth Hour.”
"For that symbolic moment to turn into the global movement it is today, is really humbling and speaks volumes about the powerful role of people in issues that affect their lives."
Last year, scientists recorded the Earth’s hottest temperatures in modern times for the third year in a row.
In Poland and Bulgaria, people have been uniting to raise their voice against laws and policies that threaten biodiversity and the ecosystems that provide clean air, water, food and stable climate, underpinning our wellbeing as well as that of the planet.
“From the shrinking of Arctic ice to coral reef bleaching, there are clear indicators that we are pushing our planet to the edge - and it is together as a global community that we can turn it around. The grassroots must mobilize and join governments and companies toward stronger climate action - the time to act is now,” Das said, adding that:
“It is up to each of us to ensure the impact we create helps instead to improve the lives of those around us and elsewhere, at present and in the future.”