New Delhi: The lights are being switched off around the world at 8:30 pm on Saturday evening, to mark the 10th annual Earth Hour, and to draw attention to climate change.
Prominent buildings and monuments in India including the India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhavan turned dark for the occasion.
Even Kolkata marked the Earth hour on Saturday.Several hotels, office buildings and the Indian Museum participated in the eighth edition of the global initiative as they switched off the lights between 8.30-9.30 pm.
“From Indian Museum to Tata Centre, from Taj Bengal to other five star hotels and restaurants, the symbolic switch off was effected to create public awareness about the campaign,” WWF Kolkata Director Saswati Sen said.
The initiative began in Australia in 2007 as a grass roots gesture by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Australia against man-made carbon dioxide emissions linked to a warming planet.
In 2017, it will involve the switching off of electric lights for an hour in 7,000 cities across 172 countries, at 8:30 pm local time, with the aim of highlighting the need to act on climate change, and saving a few megawatts of power in the process.
Among the famous buildings and structures taking part in Australia are Sydney’s Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Luna Park, Town Hall, and Sydney Tower Eye.
Internationally the list includes some of the world’s best known sky-scrapers and historic buildings including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, London’s Big Ben and Houses of Parliament, the Colosseum in Rome, Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, the Eiffel Tower, Moscow’s Kremlin and Red Square and the Pyramids of Egypt.
WWF says Earth Hour can take credit for various environmental initiatives, like the 2013 declaration of a 3.4 million hectare marine park in the waters off Argentina, the planting of a forest in Uganda and a ban on soft plastics in the Galapagos Island.