Australia basks in Earth Hour's afterglow

(dpa) - The Australian progenitors of Earth Hour said Sunday they were thrilled their lights-off initiative was taken up by millions of householders and businesses around the world.

Earth Hour began its westward progress in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Saturday as lights were shut off for an hour to raise awareness that generating electricity from coal and oil is a big contributor to the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change.

It continued through Sydney, where the normally aglow Harbour Bridge and Opera House faded to black for 60 minutes, and on to Asia, Europe and North America.

The lights guttered across 14 time zones, the last to go the United States west coast where San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge was to lose its illuminations.

"When people act together it's the aggregate of their actions that start to make a difference," said World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) spokesman Andy Ridley.

"Even one hour," he said, "it's so tiny, but when you add it all up together and imagine we were able to do that a lot more hours of the day, through the whole year, that's when we start breaking into really serious emission cuts."

WWF staged the first Earth Hour in Sydney last year and has managed to turn it into a global initiative with people in 35 countries agreeing to flick the switch for an hour.

Electricity generating company Energy Australia reported a drop in power consumption of 7-12 per cent in Sydney's city centre over Earth Hour - about the same as last year despite the number of signed up participants doubling.

Hollywood actor Cate Blanchett, director of the Sydney Theatre Company, described Earth Hour as a "grand gesture." Blanchett brought forward the start of Saturday's theatrical performance by 90 minutes so the audience could attend a glittering Earth Hour gala at a restaurant overlooking the harbour that was illuminated by hundreds of candles.

"It's fantastic that an idea as potent as Earth Hour came out of Sydney," the globetrotting Oscar-winner said.

Other restaurants jumped on the bandwagon too, advertising lavish Valentine's Day-style candlelit Earth Hour dinners.

The Australian government embraced the initiative with government departments turning off the lights in public buildings across the country.

"Earth Hour is a way in which individuals can take responsibility when it comes to climate change," Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said.

In Brisbane the famous Storey Bridge dimmed along with apartment buildings and office towers.

"Looking up at the apartments, you could see lights off and candles lit, which was really lovely to see," WWF climate change manager Kellie Caught said. "It gives us hope that people do care about the environment and climate change, and it sends a strong message to government that business and people do want action on climate change."

Heydar Aliyev Center, Flame Towers and Baku Olympic Stadium illuminated with Azerbaijani flag (PHOTO)
Heydar Aliyev Center, Flame Towers and Baku Olympic Stadium illuminated with Azerbaijani flag (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan unveils funds value received by Armed Forces Relief Fund as of December 1
Azerbaijan unveils funds value received by Armed Forces Relief Fund as of December 1
Azerbaijani public reveres memory of martyrs of Karabakh conflict (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani public reveres memory of martyrs of Karabakh conflict (PHOTO)
Loading Bars
Latest
Iran's UNESCO envoy urges condemnation of assassination of Iranian scientist
France's daily COVID-19 infections continue to fall
Embassy of Japan in Georgia reveals volume of trade turnover between two countries
Arab League welcomes Kuwait's efforts to "heal Arab rifts"
World Bank grants Morocco 400-mln-USD loan
Azerbaijan slows down imports of Turkish-made leather goods
Additional costs could add up to 2.8 billion dollars, Tokyo 2020 says
Trump to withdraw most troops from Somalia as part of global pullback
UK, EU call in leaders to save trade talks
Palestinian teen killed by Israeli forces in protest
Azerbaijan discloses volume of liabilities in banking sector
Heydar Aliyev Center, Flame Towers and Baku Olympic Stadium illuminated with Azerbaijani flag (PHOTO)
NY Times publishes article on the fate of Ciraqli village during Karabakh conflict
South Africa's second largest crude refinery shutdown after blast
1st China-bound freight train departs on 12-day journey from Istanbul
Chip shortages could slow automotive production, VW and suppliers say
Russia, India kick off joint naval drills in Indian Ocean
NCDC to study COVID-19 reinfection cases
Turkey reports over 32,736 new COVID-19 cases
Azerbaijan unveils funds value received by Armed Forces Relief Fund as of December 1
Kazakhstan, Russia agree on measure to restore ecosystem of transboundary rivers
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for December 4
Kazakhstan's coal extracting venture to buy spares via tender
French activists protest against Amazon's expansion
Azerbaijani, Bulgarian FMs discuss bilateral cooperation
Azerbaijani public reveres memory of martyrs of Karabakh conflict (PHOTO)
Electricity Market Concept Design defines gradual retail market opening in Georgia
Import of rice by Azerbaijan up
Baku Metro opens tender to buy tire connections
French parliament loses ability to be serious partner – Turkish Grand National Assembly
Investments in Georgian Poti Free Industrial Zone diversified by regional countries
Iran's next years budget unlikely to improve economy - Head of Parliament Plan and Budget Commission
Azerbaijan raises value of imports from Lithuania in 10M2020
Big foreign IT companies entering Georgia's market
Azerbaijan's Compulsory Insurance Bureau compensating bankrupted insurer's creditors
Georgia sees increase in tangerines export
Azerbaijan shows video footage from Yanshag village of Kalbajar district (VIDEO)
EDB, KazakhExport to jointly insure exports of insulated cars from Kazakhstan
Georgian Chamber of Commerce working on several projects to help SMEs
Azerbaijan's irrigation company to finance power supply of crop areas
Turkmenistan builts new mosque in Afghanistan's Akina town (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani, Latvian FMs exchange views on current situation in region
International organizations aim to finance road construction and repair in Georgia
Georgia sees increase in imports of dairy products
Azerbaijan unveils 10M2020 railway export operations
EDB to fund investment projects in priority sectors of Kazakhstan Development Bank
Azerbaijani FM receives Belarusian ambassador amid completion of his diplomatic mission (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry delivers diplomatic note to French ambassador
Global debt to hit $200 trillion - S&P Global
Turkmengas opens tender for purchase of general equipment
Ankara honors memory of Azerbaijan's martyrs (PHOTO)
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva: We will never forget Patriotic War martyrs (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan applies Lithuanian company's hotel management system project
“Ural Airlines” to take citizens of the Russian Federation out of Azerbaijan
Serbia to pay off loan received from Azerbaijan for road construction
Turkish export cargo to China to pass through Port of Baku
Uzbekistan Airways resumes flights to Kazakhstan’s Nur-Sultan
SOCAR Ukraine's aviation fuel imports for November
Surge in COVID-19 cases reported at Kazakhstan's Tengiz oil field
Turkish president supports Azerbaijani counterpart’s recommendation to France
SOCAR expands its activities in Ukraine
Iran – UK trade could improve by money transfer facilities
Turkey records more Uzbek companies in 10M2020
Budget of Georgia Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure to be highest
Rostelecom increases capacity of Uzbektelecom's access to Russian segment of Internet
Central Bank of Azerbaijan eyes to raise funds on Bloomberg trading platform
Azerbaijan was rooting for us – National gymnastics team member (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan ramps up goods exports via stationary transport
UAE’s activity on Turkmenistan’s exchange in November
Azerbaijan confirms 4,267 new COVID-19 cases, 2,566 recoveries
Kazakhstan Development Bank to co-op to promote EAEU integration
Karabakh to become ecotourism center of regional importance - Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Azerbaijan
Oil moves up towards $50/bbl after OPEC+ supply compromise
Number of COVID-19 infections in Russia increases by 27,403 in 24 hours
Turkish minister to get acquainted with construction progress of Kars logistics center
International law firms enter Georgian market
EU urges countries to keep COVID in check over festive season
Baku cathedral parishioners honor memory of martyrs of Azerbaijan's Patriotic War (PHOTO)
Bank of Israel intervenes in foreign exchange market
Turkey, Iran commemorating Azerbaijani martyrs of Patriotic War
Uzbekistan’s volume of media market up in 2021
Kazakhstan, Russia agree on steps to expand co-op in geology
Iran-Iraq Joint Trade Commission to be established soon
Karabakh can become leading IT Hub in South Caucasus, says Azerbaijani analyst
Kazakhstan to launch manufacturing of Russian anti-COVID vaccine before year-end
Ganja honors memory of martyrs of Azerbaijan's Patriotic War (PHOTO)
Substantial NATO-Georgia Package updated at meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs
Belonging of Nagorno-Karabakh region determined upon relevant UN Security Council’s resolutions - press secretary of Russian president
UNHCR reveals details of joint meeting with Turkmenistan to end statelessness
Kazakhstan ups trade with Turkey for 10M2020
EBRD reduces its equity stake in Georgian TBC Bank
TAP to hold market test to double capacity
Second Karabakh war - brightest page in national memory of Azerbaijan, says Russian cleric
Azerbaijan presents musical composition commemorating martyrs of Patriotic War (VIDEO)
Amnesty International unveils photo proof of Armenian-inflicted damage in liberated Kalbajar (PHOTO)
Iran to increase revenue by development of gas transmission
Energy Commission of Iranian Chamber of Commerce discusses oil revenue forecast
9 Azerbaijani gymnasts return from European Championships with medals - head coach
Ukraine to continue supporting Azerbaijan's territorial integrity
Mountain Jewish Community honors memory of martyrs of Azerbaijan’s Patriotic War (PHOTO)
All news