Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lights go out for Earth Hour

KUALA LUMPUR: Cities around the world were shrouded in darkness for an hour yesterday for the annual Earth Hour celebration. This year, more than 131 countries and territories registered to take part to in the celebration.

Some of the iconic landmarks that took part in the 60-minute lights off include the world's tallest building, Burj Khalif Dubai, New York's Times Square, Brazil's Christ the Redeemer statue, Paris' Eiffel Tower, the United Kingdom's London Eye, Sydney's Opera House and the China World Trade Centre Tower 3, the tallest building in Beijing.

In Malaysia, many homes, hotels, shopping malls and iconic landmarks, including the Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur Tower and Kuala Lumpur International Airport, switched off unnecessary lights at 8.30pm sharp in a show of support against climate change.

Malaysia Airports, which joined the others in supporting the Earth Hour yesterday, switched off 30 per cent of the terminal ceiling lights at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport's main terminal building, contact pier, satellite building and the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal at KLIA.

Its general manager Mohammaed Suhaimi Abdul Mubin said: "Apart from supporting Earth Day (on April 22), this is part of our continuous commitment to preserving the environment and conserving energy at the airport."

At Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, the Earth Hour initiative was channelled to support the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami charity fundraiser.

"We are engaging the Pavilion KL community to shop and donate to a worthwhile cause where all proceeds will go to the Malaysian Red Crescent Society," said marketing director Kung Suan Ai.

Tenaga National Berhad called on its customers to use electricity wisely.

"Saving the planet should go beyond the symbolic switching off of non-essential lights for 60 minutes," TNB president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Nod said.

In 2009, the event resulted in a 550 megawatt drop in electricity consumption. Last year, however, the campaign saw a smaller load reduction of 203 megawatt.

United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon leads a host of world and civic leaders in supporting Earth Hour 2011 as a powerful symbol of a shared wish for a sustainable and secure future.

"All over the world, individuals, communities, businesses and governments are creating new examples for our common future, new visions for sustainable living and new technologies to realise it.

"Let us celebrate this shared quest to protect the planet and ensure human well-being. Let us use 60 minutes of darkness to help the world see the light," he said in the "messages of support for Earth Hour 2011" posted in the event's official website.

Earth Hour was started in 2007 in Sydney when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses switched off their lights for one hour to make a stand against climate change.

Read more: Lights go out for Earth Hour

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