26 cities around the world dim lights for Earth Hour

March 29th, 2008 - 5:01 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, March 29 (DPA) Sydney Saturday became one of 26 cities around the world urging householders and businesses to turn off their lights for an hour to raise awareness that generating electricity is a big contributor to the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change. Australia’s largest city was first with the idea of an Earth Hour, its organisers claiming that last year two million residents took part in a symbolic gesture that saw the lights dim on the famous Harbour Bridge and the neighbouring Opera House.

Cities outside Australia expected to take part this year include Christchurch, Bangkok, Seoul, Dubai, Toronto, Manila, Copenhagen, Rome, Dublin, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and Mexico City.

The Sydney office of international NGO World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) came up with the Earth Hour initiative which chief organiser Andy Ridley says has been taken up in 35 countries and by 30 million people.

“At the very least we have tens of millions of people saying they understand climate change and they want to do something about it, and we hope that will help political leaders make some big calls.” Ridley said.

Organisers claimed that last year’s 60-minute fade clipped 10 percent off the city centre’s electricity consumption for that hour - a figure that many have disputed.

In Manila, lights in public places and around commercial establishments in at least four cities in the Philippines will be turned off for an hour later Saturday to mark Earth Hour 2008.

Department of Secretary Angelo Reyes and non-governmental groups participating in the event will converge at an open park in downtown Manila for the countdown and a short programme.

Aside from Manila, other Philippine cities participating in the event are Makati, where the country’s financial district is located, Paranaque and Pasay.

Xinhua reports: New Zealand’s third largest city of Christchurch and Fiji’s capital of Suva will kick off the event at 8.00 p.m. Saturday, while 22 other cities will join them as their time zones reaches 8.00 p.m.

Those taking part were asked to turn off lights in homes and offices and avoid using unnecessary electrical appliances.

WAM reports: Dubai will organise a parade to mark the Earth Hour. Around 5,000 people are expected to participate in the event organised by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) in collaboration with the police.

DEWA has urged its employees to switch off the extra lights in offices and homes.

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