Business Standard

Chinese cities switch off lights to mark Earth Hour


IANS Beijing
At 8:30 p.m. sharp (Beijing time), lights on major landmarks as well as in houses were turned off in several cities across China in commemoration of "Earth Hour" on Saturday.
"Earth Hour", a global initiative launched by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2007, has became a popular movement worldwide.
From 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on every last Saturday of March, individuals, communities, enterprises and government departments around the globe are encouraged to switch off lights.
All over China, lights were out on landmarks, including Beijing's Olympic Towers, The Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, Wuhan's historic Yellow Crane Tower as well as Yinli Plaza in Shenzhen, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The event aims to alert people about the loss of the biodiversity and the urgency to protect the integrity of the ecosystem, Jean-Paul Paddack, WWF's Global Initiatives Director said in an interview before the lights went out at the Olympic Tower in Beijing.
In China, the state strategy of building an ecological civilisation has made tremendous progress, he said.
China has been leading the way in the global efforts in finding a development model for man and nature to live in harmony, he said underlining the importance of China's role at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Beijing next year.
In recent years, China has been intensifying efforts to tackle environment issues, pushing for transformation and upgrade of its industries like new energies, said Zhang Qian, vice-executive chair of China NGO Network for International Exchanges, co-organiser of Earth Hour in the country.
Besides themed exhibitions and galleries, Earth Hour in China has engaged a wider public interest through interactive campaigns. In Wuhan, rock musicians joined the event by unplugging their electric guitars and using Chinese traditional instrument Zheng at a music festival.
In Shanghai, tourist cruises on the Huangpu River and 20 skyscrapers on both banks went dark. "We hope the Earth Hour can go beyond the 60 minutes, for everyone to make personal effort in turning the eco-consicous actions into a habit and the habit a culture," said Lu Lunyan, Vice-Executive Director of WWF China.
The participation scale of the Chinese public online and offline has set a new record this year, according to the organisers.

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First Published: Mar 30 2019 | 8:28 PM IST

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