A helter-skelter round-up of Earth Hour 2013 events as they happened across the world on 23 March – starting with some video highlights from Asia/Pacific…
In the first time zones to switch off for Earth Hour 2013, Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji and Australia were among the earliest to launch their Earth Hour celebrations in style.
In Australia, the Sydney Opera House (in the original birthplace of Earth Hour) went green for the night, symbolising this year’s focus on converting to renewable energy. In the Fiji city of Suva, 200 cyclists took to the streets using only energy efficient lights. The big Earth Hour switch-off then spread westwards across Asia..
Japan’s big event at Tokyo Tower, in collaboration with a group of Japanese artists called Mirrorbowlers, was an enormous egg-shaped installation, called ’0′ (zero), full of luminous disco balls, all connected to six power-providing bicycles.
The Philippines always has a huge and enthusiastic turn-out for Earth Hour. As a result of this year’s I Will If You Will celebrity challenges there, the country will see lots of native trees planted, plastic use reduced and more people switching to LED lighting.
Singapore’s main event was powered by hundreds of feet on an energy-capturing dancefloor. Their latest campaign is all about persuading Singapore residents to ease back on their air conditioning to save energy.
Thailand’s campaign is about promoting the Low-Carbon School Network, which incorporates energy-saving lessons in the curricula of Bangkok schools. They’re also keen to get people to cut back a degree on the air conditioning.
In Nepal, thousands of people turned out for an Earth Hour concert, with the aim of making more young people aware of the impact of climate change.
In India, Earth Hour is part of a huge push to get more people using solar energy in villages where they have no electricity, and normally rely on burning wood. To start with, 113 households in four villages in Madhya Pradesh, central India, will receive solar lanterns.
In Russia, for the first or the first time ever, the lights at Moscow’s famous Kremlin and Red Square went out for WWF’s Earth Hour, at the personal request of President Putin. More than 100,000 Russian citizens signed a petition to amend the country’s forest legislation. And Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko delivered this message from the International Space Station in support of Earth Hour…
Back on the planet’s surface, Earth Hour carried on its travels, moving through the Middle East, including UEA and Kuwait, and on into Africa and Europe…
Time for another quick video round-up, with assorted (and not strictly chronological) snippets of Earth Hour happenings from China to Croatia.
In Palestine, despite the trying political conditions, switch-off events took place in Gaza City, Nablus, Bethlehem and Ramallah. The local Earth Hour organiser said: “We want to show the world that if Palestine, one of the most vulnerable communities in the world, can take action against climate change then it’s an indication that we can actually work together to save the planet.”
Across Africa, from Kenya to Ivory Coast, Earth Hour has been bringing people together to support environmental protection. We need to take our hats off again to the incredible, inspiring teenager Nathi Mzilenzi, who single-handedly launched Earth Hour in Swaziland in 2011 when he was 15, and is now the official organiser there.
In Germany, the main event at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin had an LED light show powered by four pedal bikes. Meanwhile huge participation in Italy saw 250 towns and cities taking part in Earth Hour, including a big event at the Spanish steps in Rome.
Here’s some more eye-boggling video compilations of Earth Hour 2013 switch-offs and celebrations from around the world.