The lights went our around the world last night as Earth Hour 2009 took place to highlight the threat of climate change.
People were urged that everything from dimming lights to driving on properly inflated tyres can help to save the planet.
But long term measures like running cars on properly inflated tyres, turning off taps to conserve water and switching appliances off stand-by are needed to carry the campaign forward.
However, last night’s event showed a concerted commitment by countries around the world to get to grips with battling climate change.
Time zone by time zone, some 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries and regions joined the global event organised by the World Wildlife Fund to dim nonessential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
In London, the lights went off at the Houses of Parliament and the electronic billboard at Piccadilly Circus.
In Paris, hundreds of monuments and buildings, from the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral to the Arc de Triomphe, all went dark. The lights on the Eiffel Tower were switched off for five minutes for safety reasons.
In Sydney, famous harbor landmarks of Sydney Opera House and the arch-like Harbor Bridge were plunged into darkness on Saturday night, with tens of thousands of residents and businesses also turning their lights off for the global event.
In Beijing, the iconic “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium and “Water Cube,” the most prominent 2008 Olympic venues usually illuminated by floodlights, went dark at 8:30 p.m., while dozens of hotels, office buildings, shopping malls and restaurants in the capital also switched some lights off.
Even in Antarctica, New Zealand’s 26-member winter team at Scott Base, where temperatures are close to minus 30 degrees Celsius, shut down to minimum safety lighting and switched off all unnecessary appliances and computers.
Katherine Clarkson, National Accounts