Earth Hour Live

Tonight, millions of people are joining together, and turning off their lights to help make a difference and raise awareness about the issue of global warming. See how the world is taking part, with these live news feeds and images from participating cities. Don't forget to share your Earth Hour moments too. Remember - turn off your lights!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

La Hora del Planeta 2008, en Colombia

· Bogotá se unió a la campaña y apagó las luces de la Plaza de Bolívar, el Centro Administrativo Distrital (CAD) y el edificio Liévano, sede de la Alcaldía Mayor.

· Al cierra de la primera Feria Internacional del Medio Ambiente (FIMA), se realizó un acto simbólico en el que se apagaron las luces de las instalaciones de Corferias. Para ello se unieron el ministro de Ambiente, Vivienda y Desarrollo Territorial Juan Lozano Ramírez, la empresa Osram de Colombia Iluminaciones S.A., y la Policía Nacional.

· Se vincularon otras 114 organizaciones y empresas colombianas.

· En Medellín varios grupos ambientalistas realizaron diferentes actividades públicas entre las 8 y 9 de la noche, como un homenaje a la Tierra.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Canberra leads the way for Earth Hour

Mllions of Australians joined Earth Hour on Saturday March 29, between 8.00pm and 9.00pm by flicking the switch, turning appliances off stand-by and enjoying an hour of quiet darkness.

Residents and businesses across Canberra showed their support for Earth Hour resulting in an impressive 11.4 per cent drop in electricity consumption for the hour, according to ActewAGL.

Canberra also led the nation with an outstanding 73 per cent participating in Earth Hour, according to research company AMR Interactive.

AMR Interactive surveyed close to 3,400 Australians and found 58 per cent participated in Earth Hour by switching off lights, turning off computers, televisions and other household appliances.

“The overwhelming support for Earth Hour from Australians across the country has amazed us and shows the willingness of both business and individuals to start cutting emissions,” said WWF-Australia Earth Hour Director, Andy Ridley.

"It shows Australia is committed to reducing the threats linked to global warming and we have proved by acting together we can start to make a difference. By Earth Hour 2009, on March 28 we expect more Australians will have incorporated simple energy efficient solutions into their homes and workplace. Its important we keep the momentum going for a greener and sustainable future.” Mr Ridley said.

ActewAGL CEO John Mackay said, “The local community should be extremely proud of the 11.4 per cent electricity reduction during Earth Hour. This energy saving represents a reduction of 36 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of taking 8.4 cars off the road for an entire year.

“To congratulate Canberra, we would like to confirm our pledge to purchase enough green energy to offset the remaining essential electricity used by the city during Earth Hour – the equivalent of taking a further 65 cars off the road for a year.

“I am confident the Earth Hour message will live beyond the event itself, with long-term commitments being made by individuals, businesses and governments to save energy into the future.”

58 per cent of Aussie adults participate in Earth Hour

Sydney, March 30, 2008: Millions of Australian residents joined Earth Hour last night, Saturday March 29 between 8.00 and 9.00pm by flicking the switch, turning appliances off stand-by and enjoying an hour of quiet darkness, according to AMR Interactive.

Research consultants AMR Interactive interviewed thousands of Australian adults living in each capital city to see how Australians celebrated Earth Hour.

The polling showed that 58 per cent of Australian adults in capital cities took part in the lights off campaign that started in Sydney last year and this year went global with more than 370 cities, towns and council areas taking part.

The research showed that respondents participated in Earth Hour in a number of ways including turning off the lights at home (56%), turning off some household appliances (46%), and taking the mobile phone off charger off standby (37%).

"The overwhelming support for Earth Hour from Australians across the country has amazed us and shows the willingness of both business and individuals to start cutting emissions," said WWF-Australia Earth Hour Director, Andy Ridley.

"The polling only targeted people over 18 years of age and, given the popularity of Earth Hour among kids, the actual number of participants is likely to be much higher."

Earth Hour was initiated by WWF-Australia and started in 2007. It is now an international event, with more than 370 cities, towns and councils across the world taking part. Kicking off in Christchurch, New Zealand, Earth Hour rolled through 14 time zones, wrapping up in San Francisco, USA at 3.00pm EDT Australian time, Sunday March 29 2008.

Key achievements of Earth Hour 2008 in Australia

  • More than 370 cities, towns and communities took part

  • All Australian capital cities participated in Earth Hour

  • 94 percent of the top 100 ASX companies supported Earth Hour

  • 100% of top property companies support which include: Lend Lease, Mirvac, Colliers, Investa, Multiplex, CBRE, AMP, Knight Sinclair and Westfield.

  • Top 5 Australian banks support which include: St George, Westpac, Commonwealth, National Australia Bank and ANZ.

Key achievements of Earth Hour 2008 internationally

  • 26 international Earth Hour flagship cities in 10 countries across the globe.

  • 370 supporting cities around the world (please see attached list) makes it the largest voluntary power down event in history.

  • Support from significant international landmarks which include: Seoul Tower the tallest building in Northeast Asia, Casey Station Antarctica, Niagara Falls, Americas infamous jail Alcatraz, Prince Charles; Gloucestershire residence, Highgrove House.

"By Earth Hour 2009, on March 28 we expect more Australians will have incorporated simple energy efficient solutions into their homes and workplace. Its important we keep the momentum going for a greener and sustainable future." Mr Ridley said.

AMR Interactive report (220kb, pdf)

For more information about Earth Hour:
Kath Eggleston, WWF-Australia Press Office
T: +61 2 8202 1294 / 0408 408 562 E:

About Earth Hour

On March 31 2007, for one hour, Sydney made a powerful statement about the greatest contributor to global warming – coal- fired electricity – by turning off its lights. Over 2.2 million Sydney residents and over 2,100 businesses turned off their lights, leading to a 10.2% energy reduction across the city. What began as one city taking a stand against global warming caught the attention of the world. In 2008, 24 global cities will participate in Earth Hour at 8pm on March 29. Earth Hour is the highlight of a major campaign to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their emissions on an ongoing basis. It is about simple changes that will collectively make a difference – from businesses turning off their lights when their offices are empty, to households turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.

About WWF

WWF-Australia is part of the WWF International Network, the world's largest and most experienced independent conservation organisation. It has close to five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. This is achieved by working on the ground with local communities, and in partnership with government and industry, using the best possible science to advocate change and effective conservation policy.

About AMR Interactive

AMR Interactive is a research consultancy that brings innovation, integration and insight to drive business success. AMR Interactive has operated in Australia for more than twenty years, offering a full range of research services to business and government. From advertising effectiveness and brand equity studies through to corporate reputation, customer satisfaction, concept testing and pricing AMR Interactive offers a complete research consultancy service. Our mission is to drive our clients' success with the best people, products & processes.

Leo Burnett Sydney

Award winning agency, Leo Burnett is WWF's partner in the Earth Hour initiative. The agency, in collaboration with WWF, has created the Earth Hour identity and logo and a dedicated holistic communications campaign, designed to harness the power of TV, radio, print and interactive.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Blog from Behind-the-scenes


for Earth Hour 2008 I’ve been from Sydney, Australia to Atlanta, USA.

In the best way possible I’ve been in the thick of things, shuffling images and video of Earth Hour from one corner of the world to another. It’s been a global effort to employ the most amazing technological tools to connect the dots on climate change, the greatest threat that faces the planet.

From what I’ve seen in the past 24 hours as Earth Hour rolled around the world, an event has became a movement that captured the imagination of people. It’s obvious that that Earth Hour has found an audience.


You chose to switch off for 60 minutes and turn on to the reality that this planet of ours is in real danger.

You made the political personal once again. And how! I saw you put up homemade flyers around the neighborhood. I heard you gasp when the city did go darker than you thought possible. There was a sigh when the big lights faded to the shimmer of starlight. You were there sitting in the crowd outside the cathedral in New Zealand. You partied with the celebs Down Under, waded in the shallows as warriors lit the surf with their torches in Fiji , danced with the parade in Bangkok, and dined in old world candlelit splendor in Ireland. You made the individual, Earth Hour and climate change part of the news agenda.

You know what I got out of working backstage?

It’s a big world out there.

Hundreds of cities.

Thousands of us.

One small, fragile planet.

Our responsibility.

Phoenix turns off the lights

Wide-eyed onlookers gaze at the skyline from the Summit rooftop in downtown Phoenix, while one-by-one buildings go dark. Bank of America. US Airways Center. APS building. The Arizona Republic. Hyatt Regency…

The giant dome at Chase Field begins to close, while the announcer tells Arizona Diamondback fans inside that they’re honoring Earth Hour by blocking out the stadium lights.

Among the esteemed guests on the rooftop is Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon who sits alongside his young son—playing a tune on the battery-powered piano. A call comes through the transom. The Hard Rock Café will not turn out its giant neon guitar unless someone from the mayor’s office contacts them. Mayor Gordon reaches out his hand for the phone—a few words are spoken. Thirty seconds later the guitar is dark.

Twenty floors below, the city is embracing the movement. Local hot spot, Staudamires, is serving up eco-tinis garnished with glow sticks. Residents are roaming the streets in glow-in-the-dark necklaces and “I’m not afraid of the dark” stickers affixed to their chests—and foreheads. A club blasts Nelly Fertado’s “Turn Off the Light” while Saturday night partiers dance in the dark. Stargazers gather at the Arizona Science Center to take advantage of increased visibility and the telescopes it graciously provided.

In the end, every building marquee on the Phoenix skyline went off. The City of Phoenix made the finale of Earth Hour a night to be remembered. The night that governments, businesses, communities and individuals joined together to make a global statement on climate change and the need for each of us to take action.

Inspired by a common goal, connected through common threat—Phoenix and the entire planet united.

On March 29, 2008, the dark helped the world see the light.

Hundreds brave the cold for a dark San Francisco

Greetings to all from San Francisco, where hundreds of Earth Hour revelers braved the chilly summer fog to watch the city go dark in this dramatic event to tackle climate change! Led by Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Franciscans voiced their commitment to combat climate change, not only through Earth Hour, but by continuing to drive awareness of this critical environmental issue and by making conservation a part of their daily lives.

Leading up to the moment when the city went dark, we also heard from Senator Barbara Boxer, who gave voice to Californians' environmental concerns and commitments; WWF's own Suzanne Apple, who works with businesses around the world to protect the environment; and entertainers, such as the campy Beach Blanket Babylon, and Jason Damato, who wrote a song "Lights Out" especially for Earth Hour. Olympic Gold Medalist Brian Boitano mc'd the event and the WWF Panda entertained adults and children alike.

A hush fell over the crowd as the time for Earth Hour approached, and the clock tower on the Ferry Building signaled the moment, not with a chime this time, but by turning off its lights - starting a wave of darkness that fell over the rest of the building and the city. At 8 pm local time, famous landmarks in this City by the Bay turned their lights off. The Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower and Alcatraz Island, the Embarcadero and Transamerica buildings all went dark for Earth Hour.

The Market Bar, in the Ferry Building, was one of many restaurants hosting candlit dinners. Hotels across San Francisco handed out flyers to alert their patrons and ask them to turn out their lights. And community groups and individuals came together to create their own personal Earth Hour celebrations. There were even nighttime nature hikes!

As the first global Earth Hour event winds to a close, WWF would like to send a huge THANK YOU to all of the incredible individuals, organizations, businesses and governments around the world who made this event possible! Your hard work and dedication, your enthusiasm, and your participation in Earth Hour have sent a powerful message around the planet that, by coming together, we can all make a difference.

Earth Hour Success

Earth Hour was an astronomical success! At 8:50pm the electricity consumption in the city dropped by 264 Megawatts, which is approximately 175,000 households. And much of the city remains dark.

With millions of people around the world sharing this experience, I feel a rising hope for the future. It’s easy to get down when watching endless news stories about melting ice caps and hungry polar bears, but this could be the moment when we start to turn the corner, and begin to make good news happen. Tomorrow the media will be telling a new story, with photos of the dark skyline a testament to the power of co-operation, and the willingness of Canadians to work together to help reduce consumption, thereby reducing emissions.

So carpe diem! We have seized the day, turned out the lights, and turned on to climate-friendly living. It’s an amazing thing to consider that over 150 Canadian municipalities are sharing this experience.

Just imagine what we can accomplish together if we make every hour Earth Hour! Tomorrow, when the lights are back on, many of us will continue to conserve, and living ‘The Good Life’ by using less power, driving less, and feeling great. I hope that includes you, because I know that we can turn the page on the climate crisis together.

It's Earth Hour!

Even a big shaggy dog shook his tail for the count down in Nathan Phillips Square. As soon as the clock struck 8 p.m. the BMO building blinked out over the cheering crowd as Nelly stepped up to the mic to sing “Turn out the lights”. With every passing minute the night gets darker and the audience stands outlined in the fading civil twilight. In addition to some familiar faces from local news stations I’ve spotted local city councillor Janet Davis and MP Olivia Chow enjoying the show.

Officially, Toronto Hydro has reported a load drop of 223MW and dropping. “That is equivalent of approx. 100,500 homes”, says Blair Peberdy, Vice-President of Toronto Hydro, who stands on the square enjoying his hot coffee with a smile.

We’ve all got something to smile about.

Party Time!

Two well known celebrities are here tonight - Mayor David Miller and the WWF Panda. Mayor attracts many cameras but the Panda gets the hugs. In addition to the musicians mentioned in the last entry we are being entertained by fantastic up and comers like Kate Todd, Jenna, Dane, Casey and Sunshine State. People of all ages are here to enjoy the event. No doubt all of us wondering what the skyline will look like. Mike Russill, President and CEO of WWF-Canada, kicks off the event and the sun is almost gone. The sky above us is still blue but the western faces of the skyscrapers are pink with fading light.

If you are in the neighbourhood there is still time to join us. If you are further away you can also join us at home because this is the night for everybody around the world to take part in for a cause that affects us all. As Mayor Miller takes the stage he reminds us, “It isn’t impossible, it is doable if we all work together.”

That’s it for now…

The Sun is Sinking

The sun is sinking behind the skyscrapers, and filling Nathan Phillips Square with late day orange light and excitement! People with red ‘Global Warming Ain’t Cool’ bags circulate, with the crowd growing by the minute.

Nelly Furtado did a soundcheck earlier, to the delight of her screaming fans. “We love you!” a young person yelled. And through my thick winter hat, I’m pretty sure I heard Nelly say, “Thanks, I love you too.” No wonder she has so many admirers, filling the square to see her special Earth Hour acoustic performance. She has a great personality, and we’re thankful that she is giving her time to this great cause.

Not only will Nelly sing about turning out the lights tonight, but The Philosopher Kings and Fefe Dobson will also lend their talents to the free celebration tonight. No doubt the screaming fans will number in the thousands, as we watch the skyscrapers and the landmarks of Hogtown go dark for Earth Hour.

Stay tuned for the big switch off!

Blogging LIVE from Earth Hour in Canada!

The sun is bright and shining in Toronto, and the first of the spring birds are singing. Dusk is still a few hours away, but when the stars are out, the lights will go out too, and the birds will be a little bit safer than usual.

Earth Hour is a call to action on climate change, but the benefits go beyond sending a message. When cities across Canada go dark tonight at 8pm, the world will know that Canadians care, and are ready to take action to reduce our dangerous contribution to greenhouse gas pollution. But the reduced light pollution will also make the migration routes safer for birds trekking home over our urban islands on the boreal. It will also be something special for those of us living in cities- we’ll actually see the night sky filled with stars, rather than orange haze.

I was in Sweden when the August 2003 blackout happened, with three friends from Canada crowded around a television as red graphics covered much of the Eastern seaboard, and the news announcers urgently named our cities. We were all worried that something terrible happened, but when we finally called home we heard only positive tales about our families and neighbors enjoying the dark nights, realizing it is possible to live without power.

Earth Hour is very different: it’s no accident, and it’s no light matter. Over the past several years, consciousness of the climate crisis has risen, and not since the rush to deal with the ozone hole and acid rain has the environment been so prominent in the public mind. So tonight, we seize the moment, and turn out the lights by choice, because we can. And in doing so, we are taking the first step towards solving the climate crisis, again, because we can.

Soon Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto will be filled with people, and the sun will be down for an unforgettable evening. Stay tuned for more, as the posting will continue through the excitement, live from WWF-Canada’s official Earth Hour party at Nathan Phillips Square!

Atlanta went dark

It was the night the lights went in Georgia. As Atlanta gave Earth Hour a big Southern welcome, the city's skyline slowly dimmed, turning previous-shinning beacons into symbols for a greater cause.

Leading up to the hour, Atlanta dignitaries and WWF officials began the evening with an event featuring an eco-friendly "green carpet" and WWF's mascot, Pandy. As guests arrived, the local media captured the excitement as the crowd anxiously waited for the big moment to arrive.

Local NBC affiliate WXIA-TV broadcast live from WWF's official viewing party. The anchors spoke of the significance of the event and introduced the folks who made the event a reality, despite overcoming numerous challenges. After a moving speech by co-chair Mark Pettit, he introduced World Wildlife Fund US President and CEO Carter Roberts who spoke about the genesis of the event and of all the exciting things happening around the world.

One of the most dramatic highlights of the evening was when Mayor Shirley Franklin and World Wildlife Fund US President and CEO Mr. Roberts brought gasps of amazement from more than 300 people gathering on the 21st floor of the Wachovia Builiding in the heart of Midtown Atlanta as the two of them joined together to pull down a giant light switch, symbolically turning off the lights, and turning on a new sense of possibilities for the city. Earth Hour had officially begun.

Throughout the city, landmarks, famous structures and simple gatherings of friends celebrated Earth Hour in their own unique way on a night that made history.

For the next hour, the Atlanta residents gazed at the skyline and watched the city shrouded in darkness continue to breath, as vibrant as ever. Over 400 buildings in Atlanta participated, including the Bank of America Plaza (the tallest building in the Southeast), the World of Coke, CNN Center, and the Georgia State Capitol Building.

As the hour came to a close, Atlanta's skyline slowly re-emerged, revealing a proud city that showed to the world that by coming together for a common cause, it can shine brighter than any light.

Chicago has just made history!

Chicago has just made history! One of the world's most iconic skylines was plunged into darkness as Chicagoans sent a strong message to the world that they are committed to addressing climate change -- the greatest environmental threat the world has ever seen.

One by one the lights flicked off and the third largest city in America faded into the night sky. The Sears Tower, the largest bulding in the US, was barely visible. The John Hancock Center went out. As did the Tribune Tower, Wrigley Building and nearly every other office bilding in the city. Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, went dark, along with the famous marquee at Wrigley Field.

Speaking of marquees, they were shut off throughout Chicaogo's theater district. Elphaba, the witch from the production "Wicked" shut off the lights with a dramatic "spell".

At Chicago's famous Navy Pier, thousands of lights were turned off, including those on the iconic ferris wheel. Michigan Avenue was completely dark as virtually every store along the "Magnificent Mile" joined the movement and switched off.

Nearly 500 golden arches were turned off at McDonald's restaurants throughout the Chicago region. Hotels went dark as well. The Swissotel hosted a candle-lit Earth Hour-themed wedding. The well-known Weathermark Tavern offered a special Earth Hour dinner, complete with a champagne toast at 8 pm.

Chicago was truly transformed in a dramatic yet humbling display of its "will do" spirit. Chicagoans showed that individual acts, taken collectively, can make a tremendous impact. It is in that spirit, that the city is leading the way to a greener, cleaner, more sustainable future.

San Francisco clears up for Earth Hour

Here in San Francisco the rain and drizzle have lifted, cloudy skies have turned sunny…and we’re forecasting a fabulous evening for Earth Hour! With all the work and preparation still to be done, it’s a bit hard to imagine that Earth Hour has already passed for most of the official cities throughout the world.

From Giant Stadium to the ferry boat to Alcatraz prison, the Earth Hour video voiced by Jeremy Piven has been spreading the word. Hotels are asking their guests to go dark and restaurants are holding Earth Hour specials. Everywhere you go, people are excited about being part of this global event. Thousands of CFL light bulbs were handed out all across the city today by volunteers wearing those familiar black Earth Hour t-shirts. And today’s local newscasts and newspapers were filled with stories about the event.

The stage is just not being set up outside the Market Bar near San Francisco’s famous Embarcadero where we will formally usher in Earth Hour with help from our emcee, 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist Brian Boitano, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, our own WWF-US Vice President Suzanne Apple and a host of local notables. In just about 10 minutes we’ll begin a round of live newscasts outside the event venue.

The Panda has entered the venue.

We’ve just learned that Atlanta officially went dark and now we’re waiting to hear from Chicago. Joy and excitement…even as our own tension builds!!

Canberra embraces Earth Hour

Canberrans joined global citizens around the world last night in switching off their lights between 8-9pm for Earth Hour.
This tremendous support for the WWF initiative saw the nation’s capital go dark for an hour and unite the environmentally conscious population in thinking about our impact on global warming.

With a strong commitment from the Commonwealth Government and business community, Canberra’s Parliamentary Triangle and CBD buildings plunged into darkness in an unprecedented spectacle for those who ventured up Mount Ainslie to take in the sights.

Parliament House flicked the switch and was joined by other capital icons Old Parliament House, Australian War Memorial, National Library of Australia, High Court of Australia, Questacon, Telstra Tower, National Museum of Australia and the Royal Australian Mint.

Earth Hour was also celebrated throughout Canberra’s CBD with Earth Hour in the City, an event featuring acoustic music and other low-energy entertainment, including an outdoor movie, karaoke by candlelight and a poetry slam. Community spirit was alive and well with Civic’s Garema Place and City Walk awash with culture, colour and candlelight.

Canberra’s hospitality sector also got behind earth hour with numerous restaurants, bars and clubs switching off and serving by candlelight.

You can feel the excitement in the Windy City air.

Chicago is abuzz with talk of Earth Hour. All around the city, massive billboards boast of Chicago’s participation in this historic event. In coffee shops, in office building lobbies and in school hallways, Earth Hour signs rally Chicagoans to join Earth Hour. In hotels throughout the city, tourists and visitors are being greeted by Earth Hour videos and are being asked to participate. People on the street are wearing their Earth Hour t-shirts. Everyone in this great city is counting down to 8 pm.

This afternoon, Dr. Richard Moss, a renowned climate scientist and Vice President of Climate Change for WWF-US, joined top officials from Mayor Daly’s office, ComEd (the local electricity provider in Chicago), and area business leaders at a press conference on the banks of the Chicago River to kick off the final countdown to Earth Hour Chicago. They spoke to an army of reporters. A line of eight cameras captured the event to air during afternoon and evening broadcasts on virtually every television station in the city. Drawn by the commotion, throngs of onlookers vied for views of the podium, trying to catch a glimpse of Chicago history.

Chicagoans have been inundated with Earth Hour coverage. The Chicago Tribune and Sun Times have provided prominent coverage. The former published a moving editorial in which they carried the heartfelt message of a young girl named Whitney who pleaded for the adult generations to turn out the lights and reflect on the impact we are making on the future planet her generation will inherit. Whitney, it turns out, goes to the same local elementary school that Dr. Moss himself attended.

Every TV news outlet in this city, including Hispanic media, has provided generous coverage. Dr. Moss has been on a whirlwind media tour. NBC, FOX, CBS, ABC, PBS, Univision – they’ve all run repeated segments. And Earth Hour pieces have been among the longest segments in their broadcasts – some lasting several minutes. Our Earth Hour video, which is narrated by Chicago’s own Jeremy Piven, has received extensive play during these Earth Hour segments. In radio interviews, hosts are often just as excited about Earth Hour as we are.

Chicago is ready. In just a short while, this city’s skyline will be dramatically altered. The Sears Tower, John Hancock Center, Navy Pier, Wrigley Field, Tribune Tower, and more than 200 other buildings throughout the city will go dark as part of the largest voluntary power down in history. The theater district is on board. Hotels are on board. Businesses are on board. Chicagoans are ready. This is our moment!

The countdown begins…

Earth Hour in the philippines

ON March 29th, from 8:00pm to 9:00pm, the Philippine Capital of Manila and more than 30 cities nationwide joined the world for Earth Hour. The entire stretch of Roxas Boulevard - spanning three cities - was plunged into darkness to symbolize unity in fighting climate change. Thousands flocked to the Cultural Center of the Philippines where Earth Hour Ambassadors held a heartfelt countdown ceremony.

Malls, museums, offices, households, billboards, monuments and streets were plunged into darkness. Even the Presidential Palace of Malacanang switched off.

Dozens of corporations pitched in, led by Philips Lighting Systems. The SM group - the nation's most extensive network of malls - all switched off. The Ayala group, McDonald's, Jollibee, Max's, Red Ribbon, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, HSBC, Intel, Shangri-la and Peninsula Hotels, Smart, Globe, Canon, Dell, Cemex, Colliers and Tetrapak were but a few of who took part.

The switch-off was supported by every major media network - with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Star, BusinessWorld, ABS-CBN, GMA-7, numerous stations and publications not only providing coverage, but also participating in the nation's biggest and most memorable campaign on climate change. Rarely have the Filipino people been roused to such levels.

Earth Hour in the Philippines is an initiative of WWF-Philippines, the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change (PTFCC), Green Army and Philips. Major support was given by the cities of Pasay, Manila, Paranaque and Makati.

A developing nation of 7107 isles. A people working together to make a difference in the growing fight against global warming.

Hot-lanta buzzing with energy

Hot-lanta is buzzing with energy and it seems like everybody's talking about Earth Hour. Some are even calling it the olympics for the environment. Despite a powerful tornado that ripped through the city two weeks ago, nothing can deter the resolve of the citizens of this great flagship city. As a sign of the will people have to continue their mission of sustainability and raising awareness, the tallest hotel in the western hemisphere, the Westin Peachtree Plaza who, even though nearly half of its windows were blown out by the tornado, it is still turning off its lights tonight.

Signs of Atlanta's commitment to Earth Hour and climate change are everywhere. As you drive around and take in the gorgeous architecture and admire the abundant growth, every where you go the city is spotted with Earth Hour billboards, posters, t-shirts and lapel pins. Next to the HUGE - and I mean HUGE - Earth Hour banner that adorns City Hall are flyers detailing the movement in Chipotle which is supporting the cause by dimming the lights in all 12 of their Atlanta locations. Down the street from Chipotle is the Turner broadcasting campus who is turning out their lights as well as supporting EH on their network, CNN.

Kids of all ages are excited about Earth Hour. Just earlier, while walking past a park, one of the youngsters playing soccer stopped, saw my Earth Hour t-shirt and said "that's cool" because his teacher had been talking about it in school. Last night, while riding on MARTA, Atlanta's mass transit system I saw an Earth Hour digital message while waiting for the train. Those messages are everywhere. They adorn the Fabulous Fox Theatre, the Atlanta Civic Center, Georgia Tech's digital billboard and the massive billboards you see as you drive to and from the airport.

Yesterday was a whirlwind of Earth Hour activity. There was PANDAmonium at the pep-rally held at City Hall. Prizes were handed out, speeches were made and Pandy, WWF's panda mascot, made a special appearance leading a conga line with city employees. The local affiliates were there to cover the action but unfortunately Pandy was having too much fun to comment on the record.

Today, WWF President Carter Roberts arrived to celebrate Earth Hour in the city he spent his youth. After touching down this morning he was soon eating chili dogs at iconic eatery The Varsity - another Earth Hour participant. Later he toured the world's largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, and saw whale sharks and beluga whales -- species we hope to protect by raising awareness and taking action on climate change. Carter has also been active taking to the airwaves with extensive media interviews to further spread the word about Earth Hour. We are encouraged by the warm welcome he received at places like CNN and the local NBC affiliate WXIA - who is doing an hour-long special tonight on the Earth Hour activities in town.

Now, less than a few short hours away from Earth Hour we are experiencing the calm before the storm. We are electric with anticipation for the night the lights go out in Georgia.

Lights Out Dublin

At 8pm, it was lights out down by the River Liffey with all the mood lighting underneath eleven bridges switched off. The Custom House, often considered architecturally the most important building in Dublin which is sited on the river front switched off all the lights at 8pm. Non essential lighting on other iconic buildings such as The Four Courts, Liberty Hall and and the courtyard of Government buildings were switched off.

"I am delighted with the response to the Earth Hour initiative in Ireland, says campaign organizer Cathy Flanagan. A 1.5% reduction in power use is a considerable achievement and serves to illustrate the power of one person in just one hour to make Earth Hour a great success, joining cities and individuals across the globe to call for action on climate change. In a campaign like this there is no such thing as an effort too small, we can all do what we can to help tackle climate change. Just by switching off all non-essential lights we can help make a big difference."

Analysis carried out by EirGrid on Saturday night indicates a reduction of approximately 50 megawatts , from the exported demand during the during the period 6.30pm – 9.30pm last night Saturday 29 March. On the basis of these figures we estimate that in excess of 30,000 homes supported Earth Hour not just in Dublin but across the country

The lasting impact of Earth Hour's success is not just what happened for one hour on Saturday night. It's what we in Ireland do next, every day, to use save energy and water, to minimize waste and maximize recycling. Small steps add up.

Those who supported Earth Hour in Ireland should pat themselves on the shoulder, for making Earth Hour a big hit.

Danish Earth Hour

Denmark cities Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense and Aalborg are observing Earth Hour right now.

Please check for updates!

Earth Hour in Asia

Reports from the Philippines say Manila's Earth Hour event was a success. The Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila City Hall, shopping malls, several streets and government buildings of the financial hub of Makati City and the Roxas Boulevard along the Manila Bay switched off for the hour.

In Bangkok, WWF-Thailand said the lights out campaign saved 73.34 megawatts of electricity, which would have produced 45.8 tons of carbon dioxide.

Sydney celebrates Earth Hour

Frequent flashes of far-off lightning lit the clouds as Sydney's skyline went dark at 8 pm. A few drops of rain didn't deter the crowd gathered at Mrs Macquarie's Chair.

Earth Hour 2008 - Sydney CBD

Sydney Tower was one of the first to turn off, quickly followed by other buildings in the CBD. A big cheer erupted from the crowd at Mrs Macquarie's Chair when the Harbour Bridge and Opera House finally switched off their lights, leaving Sydney's skyline impressively dark.

Earth Hour 2008 - Parrys Raines, Tracey Spicer and Peter Garrett

At the candlelit official launch ceremony, Sydney's Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett, WWF Youth Ambassador Parrys Raine and WWF CEO Greg Bourne spoke about the importance of Earth Hour in raising awareness of climate change. Australian singer-songwriter Pete Murray also gave an amazing acoustic performance with the city skyline as backdrop.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Brisbane's lights turn off

Thousands of Brisbane residents eagerly participated in the city’s first Earth Hour, with people and businesses turning off their lights between 8 and 9pm on March 29.

A succession of neon lights throughout the usually glittering CBD flicked off, and part or all of many office towers were also cloaked in darkness.

Non-essential lighting on iconic structures was also switched off as the city’s citizens and various organisations expressed their concerns about global warming.

These icons included the Story and Captain Cook bridges, XXXX brewery, Suncorp clock and several government and council structures.

Candlelight could be seen flickering in apartments located near the city centre, and several families throughout the city hosted Earth Hour events at private residences.

About 9000 people and 900 businesses in Queensland officially signed up as Earth Hour supporters prior to the event, but it is estimated many more took part on the night.

More than 100 guests enjoyed a VIP event at Kangaroo Point Cliffs during the hour, and looked on as several lights went down in the CBD. Queensland Energy Minister GEOFF Wilson addressed the event, saying it signified how people were genuinely concerned about the impact of climate change

Organisers of the event in Brisbane and Queensland are happy with the response, but hope the initiative becomes bigger in years to come.

They see the inaugural Earth Hour as a “beginning” and hope people take the ideas and symbolism behind the event into their everyday lives

There is a genuine hope Queenslanders work hard to protect our beautiful environment and make simple – but important - changes in their lives.

Hopefully, Earth Hour will encourage people to be more conscious about the use of energy on a daily basis.

Earth Hour Fiji style

At 8pm local time, lights went off not only in the capital Suva, but in cities and towns all over the country - as Kesaia Tabunakawai, WWF South Pacific Programme Representative said, “looking at the map of Fiji, the whole country seems to be supporting Earth Hour. Commitments for ‘lights off’ came from Taveuni, Savusavu, Labasa, Levuka, Nausori, Suva, Sigatoka, Denarau, Lautoka, Lami, Kadavu and Nadi to name just a few.”

In Suva, there was great excitement as the major businesses in the city centre - including Westpac, McDonalds, KFC, Village 6 Cinema and others - switched their lights off one by one. Most dramatically, the largest billboard in the city above the ANZ building was switched off, as were ANZ's signs, other lights and even their ATMs.

Shortly after the city was plunged into darkness, two Fijian warriors in traditional dress carried a flaming torch from prominent restaurant JJ's on the Park to the wharf where they were met by members of the Takia Outrigger Canoe Paddling Club, also in traditional outfits. The warriors passed the flame to the paddlers, who then paddled out into Suva Harbour to release over a hundred floating candles, representing the hundreds of islands of Fiji that are facing the destructive impacts of climate change. The crowd cheered as the candles were released and the paddlers raised their paddles aloft. (Don't worry, all the candles were collected afterwards!)

Other events of the night included a candlelit dinner at JJ's on the Park, a Rotaract Earth Hour party, family dinners and prayer sessions by candlelight or tradional Indian lanterns, and traditional Fijian kava sessions by candlelight.

Fiji is a small Pacific nation consisting of over 300 islands. Fiji’s contribution to the main cause of climate change, carbon emissions, is very small, but Fiji and other Pacific countries are facing more impacts from climate change than larger nations. The hundreds of businesses and individuals from all over Fiji that switched off showed the world that Fiji is ready and willing to take action on climate change.

Christchurch looks back on Earth Hour

As 8pm approached in Christchurch the sun was going down and Cathedral Square was gradually filling with a myriad of different people. Some looked with curiosity at the numerous sustainability displays – others enthusiastically chattered and pointed, while more began settle into camping chairs in front of the large movie screen, making an outing of the evening. A group of kids shrieked with laughter as the bounced around an enormous blow-up earth. Though a diverse crowd, there was a strong sense of community and deliberacy, with everyone gathered in response to the overall message: we can, and should make a difference – and a little goes a long way!

As the hour came, the crowd joined together in a countdown reminiscent of a New Years Celebration – ending, instead of a burst of fireworks, with the slow chime of the Cathedral Bells. Then lights lowered around the square, and the crowds turned their attention to the screen as it sprang to life.

In the surrounding blocks many restaurants and bars were also noticeably dimmer. The occasion brought extra people out on the town, to enjoy a variety of novelty dinning, drinking and dancing experiences. At the Dux de Lux, candlelit tables created a funky atmosphere, heightened by the acoustic sounds of local singer Lauren Mitchell. The enjoyment was apparent, but so was the obvious effort taken by so many businesses to seriously consider energy reduction.

An hour later the absorbed crowds in Cathedral Square were still fixed in front of the screen, watching ‘The 11th Hour.’ It wasn’t long before the good news came through – thanks to the combined commitment of businesses and household alike, Christchurch had made a 13.1% energy reduction!