New Delhi: More than 150 cities in India are set to participate in the Earth Hour today between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm., joining over 7,000 of their counterparts across the world.
`Earth Hour` which began in 2007, is observed on the last Saturday of March every year. People around the world express their commitment to the planet by switching off their lights for one designated hour.
India observed its first Earth Hour in 2009 with people in 56 cities switching off the lights.
"We expect to increase the number of cities in India this year from last year`s 150," said Andy Ridley, CEO and co-founder of the Earth Hour Global of the WWF International, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).
The last weekend of March is around the time of the Spring and Autumn equinoxes in the northern and southern hemispheres respectively, which allows for near coincidental sunset times in both hemispheres, thereby ensuring the greatest visual impact for a global lights out campaign, a statement on the campaign website reads.
According to data available on its website, over 1,700 landmarks, including the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris and India Gate in New Delhi, went dark for Earth Hour 2012.
The initiative by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is to encourage individuals, businesses and governments around the world to take accountability for their "ecological footprint and engage in dialogue and resource exchange that provides real solutions to our environmental challenges", the statement reads.
According to it, "participation in Earth Hour symbolises a commitment to change beyond the hour" and calls for individuals and organisations to adopt simple renewable energy solutions in their lifestyle and business operations to more towards a sustainable future.
Key landmarks participating in this year`s switch off between 8.30-9.30 pm include the Gateway of India, the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore`s Marina Bay Sands, The Tokyo Tower, Taipei 101, The Bird`s Nest in Beijing, The Burj Khalifa, Eiffel Tower, UK Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Empire State Building and Niagara Falls.
(With Agencies inputs)