From Singapore to Buenos Aires, cities around the world turned off their lights Saturday to mark Earth Hour, with this year’s event highlighting the link between the destruction of nature and increasing outbreaks of diseases like COVID-19.
After starting in Asia, the call to action on climate change made its way around a planet reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.
As the day came to an end, it was the turn of the Americas, where the lights dimmed at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro’s Museum of Tomorrow and the BBVA tower in Mexico City.
In London, the Houses of Parliament, London Eye Ferris wheel, Shard skyscraper and neon signs of Piccadilly Circus were among the landmarks flicking the switches.
In Paris, the three stages of the Eiffel Tower progressively went dark but there were few people to watch with the whole country under a 7 pm Covid-19 curfew.
In Rome, the lights went out at the 2,000-year-old Colosseum, while police enforcing Italy’s coronavirus restrictions checked the papers of a small crowd of onlookers.
Asia-Pacific kicked off the event after night fell there, with the skylines of metropolises from Singapore to Hong Kong going dark, as well as landmarks including the Sydney Opera House.
In Singapore, people at the waterfront watched as skyscrapers went dark and in a nearby park, Gardens by the Bay, a group of futuristic-looking tree sculptures had their lights turned off.
Earth Hour is about ‘more than just saving energy, it’s more like remembering our impact on the environment,’ Ian Tan, 18, said at the park.
In Hong Kong, people at viewing points above the city watched as lights were dimmed on hordes of closely packed skyscrapers, while in the South Korean capital Seoul, the historic Namdaemun gate went dark.
In Thailand, Bangkok’s ultra-popular CentralWorld mall counted down to 8:30 pm before its exterior glass displays went dark for an hour — though inside, the shopping centre appeared to operate as usual.
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