UAE landmarks go dark to mark Earth Hour

Sarwat Nasir/Dubai
Filed on March 31, 2019 | Last updated on March 31, 2019 at 07.54 am
UAE landmarks go dark to mark Earth Hour

(Mohammed Mustafa Khan/KT)

Earth Hour encourages people to switch off all unnecessary lights and electronic devices for one hour.

Major landmarks in the UAE went dark for an hour, and hundreds of residents took part in a walkathon and lit candles. The Earth Hour, which is marked every year from 8.30pm to 9.30pm, is celebrated internationally to raise awareness against climate change and reduce our carbon footprint.

Organised by a conservation group, WWF, Earth Hour encourages people to switch off all unnecessary lights and electronic devices for one hour.

In Dubai, the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (Dewa) held its annual celebration at the Marasi Promenade Business Bay, where hundreds of residents participated in a walkathon and lit candles. Also, 15 government departments and 20 private companies took part in the activities.

According to Dewa, Dubai has been getting impressive results in reducing electricity use and carbon emissions. In last year's Earth Hour celebration, Dewa recorded savings of 323 megawatts (MW) in electricity consumption in Dubai, a 32-per-cent reduction compared to the 2017 event. And the energy saved is equivalent to a reduction of 140 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

A student in Dubai, Zainab Lakdawala, was one of the many expats who turned up to support the environmentally friendly cause.

"It's important to hold events as such, especially when it's celebrated internationally," she said. "It really helps in raising awareness and also educates everyone on why we should be doing more to help our planet become greener.

"I felt it was necessary for me to attend this event by Dewa today because I want to be part of this movement. Turning lights off for an hour, particularly when you do it worldwide, can make a huge difference."

A 14-year-old student, Dhavanth Srinipasan, has been fighting for a greener planet for a while now.

"I'm supporting the Emirates Environmental Group here. It's a great platoflem to support the environment. I deposited about 17kg of newspapers. My aim is to spread awareness and initiatives to protect the environment," he said at the event, which he attended with his parents.

"This event is going to cut carbon emissions by a huge percentage. We have a lot of support and the word is bound to spread rapidly because of these various activities. We constitute the next generation and it's important that we start working towards protecting the environment," said Srinipasan.

The festival, which took place from 4pm to 10pm, included several activities for youngsters, including writing wishes they have for the planet, visiting recycling stalls, and lighting candles.

Grade 11 student Ahmed Al Otaibi said "it's about time that people took the environment seriously". "People need to start recycling, be more eco-friendly, and think more seriously about the harm we are causing the planet and how it's going to affect us and our future generations," he said. "I encourage all parents to come to events like these and bring their young ones so everyone can be educated on what Earth Hour means and how it can be incorporated in our everyday lives."

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