SINGAPORE, March 27, 2014 (ENS) – On Saturday, March 29, from 8:30 to 9:30pm local time, darkness will fall over the Earth in a revolving wave as people from Singapore all the way around the globe extinguish their electric lights for Earth Hour, the movement organized by WWF to mobilize public support for planetary protection.
“Earth Hour has always been more than just about lights off, it’s about people from all walks of life coming together throughout the year to show what they can do to protect the planet,” says Andy Ridley, CEO and co-founder of Earth Hour from the movement’s home in Singapore.
This year, Spider Man will be the first super hero ambassador for Earth Hour. To dramatize the event, cast members from the film “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Jamie Foxx, will help to switch off the lights across Singapore’s signature Marina Bay skyline as part of the global flagship Earth Hour event.
For 2014, Earth Hour’s eighth year, more iconic monuments than ever will participate by going dark.
In Auckland, the Sky Tower, New Zealand’s tallest structure, will switch off its lights, before Earth Hour moves to Australia, where the Earth Hour movement began seven years ago.
In Australia, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House will go dark. A massive candle-lit display on the lawn of Parliament House in Canberra will spell out, “It’s Lights Out For The Reef” as groups across Australia screen a documentary about the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s longest reef.
Earth Hour will then move across Asia, where digitally engaged Earth Hour teams will use their power for Earth Hour Blue, a crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the planet.
In Japan, Tokyo Tower, the landmark broadcasting tower that usually sparkles with colored lights at night, will go dark for Earth Hour.
In Taiwan, the tallest and largest green building in the world, Taipei 101, with its 101 floors above ground, will observe the hour of darkness.
In China, the Bird Nest in Beijing, built for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games will go dark for Earth House, as will the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai.
WWF-Nepal seeking support to transform the lives of children in Nepal’s Terai Arc Landscape, by allowing them to go to school instead of collecting firewood. The project, A Flame Called Hope, provides access to biogas, a clean cooking gas made from waste.
Across southern Asia, the lights will be extinguished at the Wat Arun Buddhist Temple in Bangkok, Thailand; the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and the India Gate in New Delhi, the usually floodlit monument to Indian soldiers who died in World War I.
Where Asia and Europe meet in Istanbul, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, usually called the Blue Mosque, will switch off for Earth Hour for the first time, alongside the Greek Orthodox church turned museum, Hagia Sophia, and the Bosphorous Bridge joining Europe and Asia.
Then the darkness will engulf South Africa’s iconic Table Mountain overlooking the city of Cape Town.
In the Middle East, the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, will go dark for Earth Hour.
Inspired to take the super hero theme for Earth Hour 2014 to the heights, Kuwaiti athlete Refaei hopes to base jump from the top of Olympia Mall where Kuwait’s main Earth Hour event will be happening. The base jumper, skydiver and wing suit pilot posted a photo to Instagram saying, “Cannot wait for this Saturday to be part of it and save the world.”
The dark hour will sweep across Europe. For the second year running, Russia’s Kremlin, the residence of President Vladimir Putin, and Red Square, will switch the lights off for Earth Hour. WWF-Russia is using the event to call on people everywhere to help save five key species living in the region, including the critically endangered Amur leopard.
Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin has recorded a message from the International Space Station, reminding the world that while the planet looks amazing and beautiful from space, it also looks fragile and people should do their part to protect it.
Across Western Europe that lights will go out at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Buckingham Palace in London, and Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle.
During Earth Hour, people across Finland will use their voices for the Arctic, already suffering from climate change brought on by the burning of fossil fuels. Participants will pledge to increase the amount of renewable energy in the country for protection of species like the polar bear, which depends on ice and snow for survival.
WWF-Belgium is enlisting the support of some of the country’s best known bands to play in the living rooms of 40 committed Earth Hour supporters.
On a national level WWF-France will encourage citizens to launch a massive tweet storm to ensure that representatives at the COP21 meeting in Paris in 2015 will finally sign an international treaty requiring all nations to begin reducing carbon emissions for 2020.
In South America, it will be lights out for Rio de Janeiro’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue and the Angel of Independence in Mexico City. In Argentina, people will turn off their lights in support of legislation to replace ignition water heater systems with efficient electric systems. This would avoid the passive consumption of gas equivalent to powering 800,000 homes for a year.
In North America, the Empire State Building and Times Square in New York City will go dark as will Niagara Falls on the Canada-U.S. border, where floodlights from the Canadian side usually illuminate both sides of the falls until midnight.
The United Nations is going the extra mile and turning off all non-essential lights within the UN complex in New York for three hours from 7 pm to 10 pm. Geneva and many other UN offices worldwide will also participate.
Out West, the blazing neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip will go dark. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the Los Angeles International Airport also will join in the world’s largest celebration for the planet.
As one of the first open-sourced environmental campaigns, Earth Hour has grown from a symbolic event in one city – Sydney, Australia, into a global movement, crowdsourcing actions from individuals, businesses, organizations and governments to generate environmental outcomes.
Corporations, too, are participating in Earth Hour. More than 3,000 employees of the communications company Verizon will join the Earth Hour movement by turning off lights for one hour at 550 Verizon buildings and 3,000 Verizon employee homes across roughly 40 countries, helping to raise energy-efficiency awareness and promote sustainable living.
In 2014, Earth Hour organizers say the movement is entering the most exciting stage of its evolution, to be at the forefront of crowd funding and crowdsourcing for causes, innovation and creativity for the planet.
“It is always extraordinary to see cities and landmarks involved in Earth Hour, but in 2014 it is the stories and activities happening beyond the hour that show this event has evolved into a movement driven by the power of the crowd,” said Ridley. “What makes Earth Hour different is that it empowers people to take charge and to use their power to make a difference. The movement inspires a mixture of collective and individual action, so anyone can do their part.”