Cities and monuments switch off for Earth Hour

The Empire State Building and United Nations headquarters in New York joined other iconic buildings and monuments around the world plunging into darkness for sixty minutes on Saturday to mark Earth Hour and draw attention to climate change.

The Eiffel Tower, the Kremlin, the Acropolis in Athens and Sydney's Opera House also dimmed their lights as millions of people from some 170 countries and territories were expected to take part in Earth Hour, the annual bid to highlight global warming caused by the burning of coal, oil and gas to drive cars and power plants.

The event, which originated in Sydney, has grown to become a worldwide environmental campaign, celebrated across all continents.

The World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) conservation group, which organizes the event, said great strides had been made in highlighting the dire state of the planet.

"We started Earth Hour in 2007 to show leaders that climate change was an issue people cared about," coordinator Siddarth Das said.

"For that symbolic moment to turn into the global movement it is today, is really humbling and speaks volumes about the powerful role of people in issues that affect their lives."

In Sydney, many harborside buildings switched off their lights for an hour from 8:30 pm local time as the call for action began rolling out across the world.

learn more

Cynthia Hirschhornart