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Dozens of metropolises leave landmarks in the dark

The “Hour of the Earth” is the largest environmental campaign in the world. Lights went out in metropolises around the world. The campaign is intended to encourage economical use of resources. But not only.

Lights out for climate protection: people in many cities around the world set an example for environmental protection on Saturday as part of the “Earth Hour”. At 8.30 p.m. local time, the lights were switched off on well-known buildings: In addition to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, these included the Kremlin in Moscow, the Colosseum in Rome and the Acropolis in Athens. Here you get an overview.

In New Zealand, one of the earliest countries in time, the lights on the Sky Tower observation and telecommunications tower in Auckland and in the parliament building in the capital Wellington went out. Later in Berlin the Brandenburg Gate, since 1990 symbol for the end of the division of Germany and Europe, was in the dark. The end was North America, but there was no big difference to normal days in the New York skyline.

Private households also turned off the lights

Citizens also took part in the campaign initiated by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and turned off the lights in their apartments. The “Earth Hour” is intended to set an example for climate and environmental protection. The darkness is supposed to indicate waste of resources and make people think.

The light installation by the artist Jonathan Park (below) at the former iron and steel works in the Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord is during the "Earth Hour" unlit.  (Source: Bernd Thissen / dpa)The light installation by the artist Jonathan Park (below) at the former iron and steel works in the Duisburg Nord Landscape Park is not illuminated during “Earth Hour”. (Source: Bernd Thissen / dpa)

In Germany, the WWF expected record participation: 575 cities and municipalities and 448 companies at 716 locations wanted to take part. Nationwide, the lights went out on many town halls, churches, monuments, company headquarters and stadiums. For example, Neuschwanstein Castle, Cologne Cathedral, Frankfurt Paulskirche and the Stuttgart TV tower, but also industrial monuments such as the Duisburg Landscape Park and football stadiums such as the arenas in Mönchengladbach and Schalke remained in the dark.

Lights out from Sydney to the Vatican

Many cities around the world took part, including Singapore, Tokyo, Moscow with the Kremlin and Sydney with the world-famous opera house. In Paris the Eiffel Tower disappeared into the darkness for an hour, in London the Ferris wheel and Piccadilly Circus, in the Vatican St. Peter’s Basilica. In Brussels, the lights on the buildings of the EU Commission went out. Small actions could make a big difference, tweeted Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “Especially when the world acts together.”

With a view to the federal elections and the future federal government, the WWF is calling for the pace of the expansion of renewable energies to be massively increased. The proportion of clean energy from wind and sun must increase to 80 percent of gross electricity consumption by 2030. In addition, all climate-damaging subsidies would have to be dismantled.

The “Earth Hour” was proclaimed for the 15th time by the WWF. The starting shot was once fired in the Australian metropolis of Sydney, when around 2.2 million people switched off the lights on March 31, 2007 – and thus made history. Because of the corona pandemic, the environmental organization has refrained from public events with a large audience for the second year in a row.

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