Earth Hour: Numerous landmarks plunged into darkness

WITHsymbolic darkness in the name of protecting the environment: around the world, many people turned off the lights for an hour during the Earth Hour event. The slogan “Together for Greater Climate Protection” was followed on Saturday in some 190 countries and hundreds of cities, organizers said. The Climate and Environment Campaign launched by WWF in Australia since 2007 is an example that humanity should take better care of the Earth.

Attractions, offices and apartments remained dark for 60 minutes from 8:30 pm to 8:30 pm, depending on local time. The countries of the Asia-Pacific region gave the go-ahead. In New Zealand, for example, the Sky Tower and the Harbor Bridge in Auckland, as well as the Houses of Parliament in the capital Wellington, remained in darkness. The world-famous Harbor Bridge and the Opera House appeared a little later in the Australian metropolis of Sydney. In Malaysia, the lights went out in the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. And in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, five iconic structures have also gone black, including the country’s national shrine, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

Shortly thereafter, the Brandenburg Gate in Germany was plunged into darkness for an hour. According to WWF, more than 550 cities have registered to participate in the campaign. However, unlike in years past, the lights on some of the landmarks were no longer lit, in part due to the energy crisis. Regarding the war in Ukraine, the state ministry in Baden-Württemberg indicated that lighting had been reduced as much as possible since the summer in order to save energy.

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Russia this time was not. Lights in public buildings remained on. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov justified this by saying that the initiator of WWF is on the Russian list of “foreign agents.” The controversial law at the heart of this list is used in Russia to stigmatize people, the media and non-governmental organizations that do not adhere to this line. Russia has taken part in earlier Earth Hour events since 2013 and, for example, turned off the facade lighting of the Kremlin.

The rear light was also turned off in the Americas this year: in Toronto, Canada, the CN Tower went out. In the neighboring United States, in addition to the Empire State Building in New York, the Space Needle in Seattle and the Willis Tower in Chicago were temporarily not illuminated. In Los Angeles, the lights of the solar-powered Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier did not go out.

“Earth Hour is not about saving energy by turning off the lights,” WWF explained. Rather, the action is a symbolic and peaceful form of protest. “The wildfires, droughts and floods in 2022 have once again shown us the dramatic impact of the climate crisis,” the WWF said in a statement. “This decade will decide whether we can limit the climate crisis to manageable levels.”

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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