Earth Hour has seen the lights go out again in many of the world’s largest cities, each with its own local focus on energy concerns.
Millions of people from 178 countries and territories took part in the event this year, with monuments and buildings such as the Eiffel Tower, Taipei 101 and the Empire State Building plunging into darkness for 60 minutes from 8:30pm local time on March 19.
After a year of devastating bushfires right across the country, Australians are being asked to address climate change.
Among the top 20 list of nations with the highest energy consumption, Australia has the smallest population.
As the world’s factory, with the world’s largest population, China consumes more than one-quarter of all of the world’s energy.
But projects such as the city of Anshan’s capture of 1 gigawatt of waste heat from a steel plant in the city to bring back into the system is lateral thinking.
Its focus this year for Earth Hour is sustainable consumption.
Severe peat fires in nearby Indonesia caused choking haze last year across Singapore and Malaysia, that Indonesia’s Widodo Government estimates cost $45 billion in lost productivity.
Singaporeans this year on Earth Hour were asked to call for the implementation of a Peatland Moratorium in Indonesia.
For its part, new structures in the city state’s landmark Marina Bay are required by law to contribute to efficient building design and energy conservation.
Thailand has led the way with one of the first APEC “low carbon model towns” on the island of Samui, and this year its Earth Hour message was a push for a “zero-carbon city”.
While that desire is impossible, even in the distant future, individual responsibility has long been the aim of environmental campaigns.
Consuming a trillion megawatt hours of energy per year, India’s focus for Earth Hour is on the sun and leaps towards solar energy.
In Mumbai, an estimated 40 per cent of electricity demand is for cooling, which contributes to frequent, significant blackouts.
Last year, WWF Russia held a campaign Time to Think Differently, which lobbied for a freeze on environmentally hazardous and costly projects in the Arctic.
Its aim is to have the Russian President impose a 10-year moratorium on the development of new oil fields in the Arctic shelf.
French people used social media channels to turn off individual light bulbs on the Eiffel Tower.
In addition, a French initiative has challenged students from 22 schools to identify a particular climate issue and come up with concrete actions, such as a recycling program or a clean-up day.
Elsewhere in Europe, St Peter’s Basilica, Rome’s Trevi Fountain and the Parthenon temple in Athens were among a slew of iconic sites to go off-grid.
London, United Kingdom
Iconic UK landmarks like Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace joined the global switch-off.
Last year, over 10 million individuals took part, joining over 4,600 schools, and 1,000 businesses and organisations in the UK to show they care about the future of our planet.
New York, United States
In the city that never sleeps, Times Square and the Empire State Building were among the iconic landmarks that went dark.
One New Yorker joked on Twitter: “I was wondering why my skyline is black.”
Originally at ABC News