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More famous landmarks went dark during 2017’s Earth Hour than ever before to highlight the need for climate action

A combo picture shows the Eiffel Tower before (L) and during Earth Hour in Paris, France, March 25, 2017 at which lights are switched off around the world at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday evening to mark the 10th annual Earth Hour and to draw attention to climate change.
Reuters/Philippe Wojazer
The planet is going, going…but not yet gone.
By Elijah Wolfson
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

For the 10th year, cities around the world from Beijing to Paris turned off the lights on some of their most well-known and widely visited landmarks in honor of Earth Hour. The event—which took place March 25, from 8:30-9:30pm local time—was meant to bring attention to the need for global climate action.

According to the World Wildlife Foundation, the nonprofit that organizes Earth Hour, an unprecedented 187 countries and territories participated in 2017’s version, with more than 3,000 “landmarks” going dark.

Earth Hour is largely symbolic; powering down for 60 minutes doesn’t have much of an impact on energy use. All the same, some countries are reporting energy savings over the weekend. The department of energy in the Philippines, for example, says the event reduced the maximum load through the country’s power grid by 165 megawatts—enough to power about 55,000 homes. In Toronto, Canada, electricity demand dropped 77 megawatts; Dubai reported a savings of 244 megawatts.

Striking before-and-after photos from across the planet show how much we take for granted the energy needed to keep our cities brightly lit.

Reuters/Maxim Shemetov
The Kremlin in Moscow before (top) and during Earth Hour.
Reuters/Jason Lee
The China Central Radio and Television Tower before (top) and during Earth Hour in Beijing.
Reuters/Shailesh Andrade
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station in Mumbai, India, before (top) and during Earth Hour.
Reuters/Bobby Yip
The financial district in Hong Kong, before (top) and during Earth Hour.
REUTERS/Ginnette Riquelme
Mexico City’s “Angel de la Independencia” monument before (top) and during Earth Hour.
Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader
The Belvedere palace in Vienna, Austria before (top) and during Earth Hour.
Reuters/Philippe Wojazer
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, before (top) and during Earth Hour.




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