Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on Dawn.com.

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience

.

Email

In pictures: Cities go dark for Earth Hour, bring light to climate change

"We are the first generation to know we are destroying the world. We could be the last that can do anything about it."
Updated Mar 31, 2019 03:04pm

The UN headquarters in New York, the pyramids of Egypt and Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue were among top world monuments plunged into darkness for an hour on Saturday to put the spotlight on climate change and its impact on the planet.

Organised by environmental watchdog World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the 13th edition of Earth Hour saw millions of people across 180 countries turning off their lights at 8:30pm to highlight energy use and the need for conservation.

The event follows some of the direst warnings to date on the state of Earth's natural habitat and species.

"We are the first generation to know we are destroying the world. And we could be the last that can do anything about it," WWF said. "We have the solutions. We just need our voices to be heard."

Read more: Earth could become unliveable if greenhouse emissions continue rising at current rates: UN report

Speaking to AFP, Dermot O'Gorman who heads WWF-Australia, said Earth Hour is "the world's largest grassroots movement for people to take action on climate change. It's about individuals taking personal action but joining with hundreds of millions of people around the world to show that not only do we need urgent action on climate change but we need to be protecting our planet."

Dozens of companies around the world pledged to join this year's campaign, which saw Singapore's skyline go dark and Hong Kong turn off the lights along Victoria Harbour. In Europe, Berlin's Brandenburg Gate and Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican were swallowed by darkness. The lights also went out in Mexico at Guadalajara's Degollado Theater.

Other global landmarks that flicked the switch included Sydney's Opera House, the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Dubai's Burj Khalifa ─ the world's tallest skyscraper ─ the Acropolis in Athens, Shanghai Tower and the Kremlin building in Moscow.

Back in October, in its 'Living Planet' report, WWF said 60 per cent of all animals with a backbone ─ fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals ─ had been wiped out by human activity since 1970. Another study said a recent decline in bugs that fly, crawl, burrow and skitter across still water ─ fuelled by deforestation, urbanisation and the rise of commercial farming ─ was part of an unfolding mass extinction event, only the sixth in the last half-billion years.

Last year, Earth Hour was observed in more than 7,000 towns and cities in 187 countries, according to the organisers.

While the lights-off event is a symbolic gesture, Earth Hour has sparked successful campaigns over the past decade to ban plastics in the Galapagos Islands and plant 17 million trees in Kazakhstan.


PAKISTAN
Girls release floating lanterns in front of Parliament House during Earth Hour in Islamabad. ─ AFP
Girls release floating lanterns in front of Parliament House during Earth Hour in Islamabad. ─ AFP

Pakistanis hold light candles during Earth Hour in Quetta on March 30,2019, organised by the green group WWF. ─ AFP
Pakistanis hold light candles during Earth Hour in Quetta on March 30,2019, organised by the green group WWF. ─ AFP

Girls hold candles in front of Parliament House during Earth Hour in Islamabad. ─ AFP
Girls hold candles in front of Parliament House during Earth Hour in Islamabad. ─ AFP

People light candles in front of Parliament House during Earth Hour in Islamabad . ─ AFP
People light candles in front of Parliament House during Earth Hour in Islamabad . ─ AFP

This combination of pictures created on March 30, 2019, shows Pakistanis gathering in front of the Sindh Assembly during Earth Hour in Karachi organised by WWF. ─ AFP
This combination of pictures created on March 30, 2019, shows Pakistanis gathering in front of the Sindh Assembly during Earth Hour in Karachi organised by WWF. ─ AFP

FRANCE
This combination of pictures shows the Eiffel Tower illuminated (up) in Paris and switched-off (down) during Earth Hour organised by the World Wildlife Fund. ─ AFP
This combination of pictures shows the Eiffel Tower illuminated (up) in Paris and switched-off (down) during Earth Hour organised by the World Wildlife Fund. ─ AFP

This combination of pictures shows the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, also known as the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, illuminated (up) and switched-off (down) during Earth Hour. ─ AFP
This combination of pictures shows the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, also known as the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, illuminated (up) and switched-off (down) during Earth Hour. ─ AFP

This combination of pictures shows Les Invalides illuminated (up) in Paris and switched-off (down) during Earth Hour organised by WWF. ─ AFP
This combination of pictures shows Les Invalides illuminated (up) in Paris and switched-off (down) during Earth Hour organised by WWF. ─ AFP

This combination of pictures shows the Pantheon in Paris illuminated (up) and switched-off (down) during Earth Hour. ─ AFP
This combination of pictures shows the Pantheon in Paris illuminated (up) and switched-off (down) during Earth Hour. ─ AFP

GERMANY
A combination photo shows the Brandenburg Gate before and during Earth Hour in Berlin, Germany. ─ Reuters
A combination photo shows the Brandenburg Gate before and during Earth Hour in Berlin, Germany. ─ Reuters

A combination photo shows the Unesco World Heritage Cologne Cathedral and the Hohenzollern railway bridge along the River Rhine during Earth Hour in Cologne, Germany. ─ Reuters
A combination photo shows the Unesco World Heritage Cologne Cathedral and the Hohenzollern railway bridge along the River Rhine during Earth Hour in Cologne, Germany. ─ Reuters

A combination photo shows the Sony Center at the Potsdamer Square before (top) and during Earth Hour in Berlin, Germany. Picture taken with fish-eye lens. ─ Reuters
A combination photo shows the Sony Center at the Potsdamer Square before (top) and during Earth Hour in Berlin, Germany. Picture taken with fish-eye lens. ─ Reuters

The lights are switched off during Earth Hour at the annual German film and television awards 'Golden Camera' ('Die Goldene Kamera') of German TV magazine 'HoerZu' in Berlin. ─ Reuters
The lights are switched off during Earth Hour at the annual German film and television awards 'Golden Camera' ('Die Goldene Kamera') of German TV magazine 'HoerZu' in Berlin. ─ Reuters

RUSSIA
A combination photo shows the Kremlin before (top) and during Earth Hour in Moscow. ─ Reuters
A combination photo shows the Kremlin before (top) and during Earth Hour in Moscow. ─ Reuters

A man takes photo of two women posing at the Red Square during the "Earth Hour" campaign in central Moscow. ─ AFP
A man takes photo of two women posing at the Red Square during the "Earth Hour" campaign in central Moscow. ─ AFP

A combination photo shows the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour before (top) and during Earth Hour in Moscow, Russia. ─ Reuters
A combination photo shows the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour before (top) and during Earth Hour in Moscow, Russia. ─ Reuters

INDIA
A combination photo shows the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), formerly known as Victoria Terminus, before (top) and after the lights were turned off for Earth Hour in Mumbai, India. ─ Reuters
A combination photo shows the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), formerly known as Victoria Terminus, before (top) and after the lights were turned off for Earth Hour in Mumbai, India. ─ Reuters

A combination photo shows the Indian Defence Ministry, Presidential Palace and Home Ministry buildings before (top) and after the lights were turned off for Earth Hour in New Delhi, India. ─ Reuters
A combination photo shows the Indian Defence Ministry, Presidential Palace and Home Ministry buildings before (top) and after the lights were turned off for Earth Hour in New Delhi, India. ─ Reuters

BOLIVIA
A fire eater performs during the Earth Hour celebrations in La Paz, Bolivia. ─ AP
A fire eater performs during the Earth Hour celebrations in La Paz, Bolivia. ─ AP

People take part in a candlelight vigil marking Earth Hour in La Paz, Bolivia. ─ AP
People take part in a candlelight vigil marking Earth Hour in La Paz, Bolivia. ─ AP

Mimes take part in a candlelight vigil marking Earth Hour in La Paz, Bolivia. ─ AP
Mimes take part in a candlelight vigil marking Earth Hour in La Paz, Bolivia. ─ AP

GREECE
A combination photo shows a view of the ancient Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill before (top) and during Earth Hour in Athens, Greece. ─ Reuters
A combination photo shows a view of the ancient Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill before (top) and during Earth Hour in Athens, Greece. ─ Reuters

A combination of photos shows the ancient Acropolis with lights on (up) and off (bottom) during Earth Hour in Athens on March 30, 2019. ─ AFP
A combination of photos shows the ancient Acropolis with lights on (up) and off (bottom) during Earth Hour in Athens on March 30, 2019. ─ AFP

COLOMBIA
People light candles and form the 60+ sign on March 30, 2019 in Cali, Colombia, during Earth Hour. ─ AFP
People light candles and form the 60+ sign on March 30, 2019 in Cali, Colombia, during Earth Hour. ─ AFP

People light candles and form the 60+ sign on March 30, 2019 in Cali, Colombia. ─ AFP
People light candles and form the 60+ sign on March 30, 2019 in Cali, Colombia. ─ AFP

OTHER
A combination photo shows the landmark statue of Garuda Wisnu Kencana before and after being switched off for Earth Hour in South Kuta in Bali, Indonesia. ─ Reuters
A combination photo shows the landmark statue of Garuda Wisnu Kencana before and after being switched off for Earth Hour in South Kuta in Bali, Indonesia. ─ Reuters

This combination of photos created on March 30, 2019, shows St Peter's Basilica before (top) and after (bottom) being plunged into darkness for Earth Hour in the Vatican on March 30, 2019. ─ AFP
This combination of photos created on March 30, 2019, shows St Peter's Basilica before (top) and after (bottom) being plunged into darkness for Earth Hour in the Vatican on March 30, 2019. ─ AFP

Star Wars enthusiasts huddle with their lightsabers after participating in Earth Hour at Taguig City, Philippines on March 30, 2019. ─ Reuters
Star Wars enthusiasts huddle with their lightsabers after participating in Earth Hour at Taguig City, Philippines on March 30, 2019. ─ Reuters


Header image: People light candles and form the 60+ sign on March 30, 2019 in Cali, Colombia, during Earth Hour. ─ AFP