Wednesday,20 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1387, (29 March - 4 April 2018)
Wednesday,20 February, 2019
Issue 1387, (29 March - 4 April 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Lights out for Earth Hour

Lights out for Earth Hour
Lights out for Earth Hour

ON 24 MARCH, from 8:30pm to 9:30pm, the lights of Egypt’s historic landmarks went dark as part of the global initiative Earth Hour, reports Mahmoud Bakr. From the Bibliotheca Alexandrina to Luxor’s temples, from Cairo Tower to the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx, illumination around some of the world’s most recognisable sights was switched off as the Ministry of the Environment joined hotels, civil society groups and a growing number of individuals in responding to international calls to address climate change.

The symbolic event raises awareness of the importance of acting responsibly towards the planet, an annual reminder to minimise consumption, curtail the waste of resources, decrease carbon emissions and promote sustainability.

Action to mark Earth Hour in Egypt came under the motto “We Pledge to Protect Our Planet”, says Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmi.

Egypt first participated in the global initiative in 2009, joining 88 countries. In 2017, the lights went out at 12,000 sites in 180 countries.

Participation this year in Earth Hour coincided with Egypt hosting a biodiversity summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, casting a spotlight on how global warming affects biodiversity.

“The world must take serious steps to set up projects that help ease climate change and cope with global warming to preserve the biodiversity of the planet and encourage sustainability,” said Fahmi.

“When we participated in Earth Hour in 2009 electricity consumption went down by 50 megawatts. In 2010 the reduction was 100 megawatts. This indicates growing public awareness of the importance of positive engagement in such an event.”

Earth Hour was launched in Sydney in 2007 and has grown into the world’s largest popular environmental initiative.

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