Earth Hour kicks off in style

2015-03-28 16:51
Eriko Ukimura plays the violin during the "Earth Hour" in Japan. (Koji Ueda, AP)

Eriko Ukimura plays the violin during the "Earth Hour" in Japan. (Koji Ueda, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Berlin - The first major event to mark the ninth annual global Earth Hour event to highlight climate change was a performance of Gustav Holst's The Planets by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday.

The event was streamed live over the internet via the Earth Hour website and people were invited to film themselves performing along with the orchestra and upload it to the site.

Samoa was the first nation to mark Earth Hour, in which participants turn off all the lights in their homes for 60 minutes between 20.30 and 21.30 local time. People in Fiji and Japan also marked the event.

Sydney Opera House switched off its external lights during the hour.

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide were expected to take part in the event organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Australia with 2.2 million people taking part, and since then the event has grown into what WWF calls "the world's largest grassroots movement."

In 2014, hundreds of millions of people in 162 countries took part in Earth Hour, according to a report from WWF. The term Earth Hour - and the eponymous hashtag - was mentioned 1.2 billion times on Twitter.

More than 1 200 landmarks - including the Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge and the Acropolis in Athens - were participating, the WWF said.

The event also aims to raise money for environmental projects as well as awareness about the threat of climate change. In 2014, WWF Singapore's Stop The Killing project raised $21 346 "to combat wildlife crime in South-East Asia."

Other projects in 2014 included one by WWF India to help reduce energy use and the carbon footprint of 15 000 schools, and 17 million trees were planted in Kazakhstan.

This year, Earth Hour-related action includes a 100 000-name petition against oil exploration in the Russian Arctic and a project to reduce the use of firewood in Uganda. There are also crowd-funded climate-resilience projects happening in India, Indonesia, Colombia and Portugal.

Ambassadors for the event include UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and global celebrities like British singer Chris Martin, Italian designer Giorgio Armani, US actor Edward Norton and Taiwanese singer, dancer and actress Jolin Tsai.

Read more on:    wwf  |  environment  |  earth hour

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.