For an hour, the lights went out for some time this Saturday night around the world to raise awareness on the issue of climate change.
After the Sydney Opera House and the skyscrapers of Hong Kong, the Kremlin or the Eiffel Tower have also turned off this Saturday for the 11th “Earth Hour” to mobilize against climate change but also this year for nature.
Australia launched, “Time for the Planet” in 2007 with only one event, like every year launched the operation at 20:30 local, plunging Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge in the dark.
Even on the ISS …
The skyscrapers of Hong Kong and Singapore then extinguished their lights, as same in Petronas towers of Kuala Lumpur or the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, then the Eiffel tower in Paris, the Acropolis in Athens or the Saint basilica -Pierre in Rome.
In Moscow, the Kremlin and Red Square also found themselves in the dark, while the light intensity of the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) was to be reduced at 20:30 GMT, according to the Russian space agency Roscosmos cited by the Ria Novosti agency.
“Earth Hour comes at a time when people and the planet are under pressure. Climate change is going faster than us. Its disturbing consequences are on us”, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned in a video message posted on Twitter.
Climate change is still running faster than we are. 2016 was the warmest year since 1850. 2017 was the warmest on record without the El Niño effect. We need greater ambition to reverse this trend. https://t.co/e7W1coLdBI pic.twitter.com/NWrHjZXPV5
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 23, 2018
But this year, Earth Hour wants to go beyond the issue of global warming, also calling for mobilization for the preservation of nature, while the experts of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) this week warned humanity that it put itself in danger by causing the decline of the fauna and the flora of the planet.
“We are losing not only our fight against climate change, but also our fight against the decline of biodiversity”, said French President Emmanuel Macron in an audio message posted on Twitter while the words he said were displayed on a black background.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 24, 2018
“Imagine that you wake up and something has changed. You do not hear any birdsong. You look out the window: the landscapes you love are dry. It’s not a nightmare and certainly not an illusion. You know it, ” he added.
“More than half of all animal and plant species are threatened with extinction in some of the most naturally bio-diverse regions if we continue”, warned Dermot O’Gorman of the WWF NGO (World Wide Fund for Nature) coordinating Earth Hour worldwide.
In London, Rio, New York …
Other iconic landmarks must still be extinguished at 20:30 local like Big Ben, the Christ the Redeemer of Rio, the Empire State Building of New York or the Niagara Falls. In India lights were dimmed at India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan too.
Dianna Ali, who was having dinner with her family in Sydney when the lights went out, explained that this initiative enabled her to become more aware of the impact of her lifestyle on the health of the planet. “Since the launch of the Hour for the Planet, I am more aware of the energy I spend. I think … how simple a person can make the difference”, she told AFP.