Originally broadcast on Emirates News, 24 March 2013
Last night, the UAE joined the rest of the world, in celebrating Earth Hour. As the clock struck 8:30pm across Dubai, the city was plunged into darkness, as people switched off their lights.
DEWA says the emirate saved 200,000 kilowatt hours in the act, and 120 tonnes of carbon emissions, but the effects are hoped to reach further than mere numbers. Noni Edwards reports.
The symbolic act of switching off all unnecessary lights and electrical appliances for one hour is designed to act as a reminder of each person’s role in creating a more sustainable planet.
It was a chance for people the world-over to unite against climate change by increasing their own awareness of energy efficiency.
Iconic landmarks in the UAE dimmed their lights during the hour including the world’s tallest man-made structure, the Burj Khalifa.
The Emirates Wildlife Society helped coordinate Earth Hour in the UAE, in coordination with the Worldwide Fund for Nature.
They campaigned for local participation in this global environmental call to action.
This year, there were many public and community events organised across the UAE for Earth Hour.
Government office buildings and businesses also joined the event across all seven emirates with more than 1 million people participating.
Around the world, cities joined in as their local time reached half-past-eight.
In the Russian capital Moscow, landmarks including the Moscow State University, Red Square and the Kremlin, all turned off their lights for an hour.
Likewise on the streets of Sao Paulo in Brazil, where their Teatro Municipal went into an hour’s blackout.
In Singapore, the skyscrapers in Central Business District all went dark at around 8:30 local time and more than 2,000 volunteers at Marina Bay danced on energy-absorbing pads to convert kinetic energy into electricity to power the outdoor screening of an environment-themed film.
In the Turkish city of Istanbul, the lights on the Hagia Sophia Church were turned off too, as well as those lighting up their Bosphorus Bridge.
The Earth Hour project began in 2007 and runs each year on the last Saturday of March.