Earth Hour success as all Emirates switch off for the hour



Posted on 30 March 2014  | 
Burj Khalifa during Earth hour
© EWS-WWFEnlarge
UAE, 30 March 2014: UAE residents are thanked and congratulated today by Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF, the environmental NGO responsible for coordinating Earth Hour in the country, for helping to make this year’s Earth Hour bigger and better than ever before. The event that has evolved into the world’s largest movement for the planet began its journey across more than 162 countries yesterday.

With an anticipated reach of approximately 5 million across the UAE, the movement in the country continues to gather pace year on year and thanks to 2014’s call to action by EWS-WWF and partners, the UAE community is increasingly enlightened on the need to switch to energy efficient lighting.

Ida Tillisch, Director General at EWS-WWF said: “The support from the UAE community for Earth Hour has been fantastic and I’d like to thank everyone who is taking part with a positive contribution for our planet. Earth Hour is a time to reflect on the serious situation our planet is in with our natural resources being used faster than what is generated, and how we can do something good for the planet, such as using less energy in our daily lives. It was great to see so many windows turning dark for Earth Hour across the UAE skyline yesterday, sending a message that people here want to take action for a better planet.”

A recent survey by YouGov and EWS-WWF found that 88% of UAE residents believe they have a role to play in helping the environment and that 84% of people were either ‘extremely likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to switch to energy efficient lighting in an attempt to help the environment. In the few days before the event, the community rallied around the ‘selfie’ phenomenon by posting photos of themselves with energy efficient bulbs to social media. Taking a ‘selfie’ acted as a fun and impactful way to ensure residents could support the cause, spread awareness and do more than switch off for just one hour.

Earth Hour is set to break all records of participation in its eighth year, as Spider-Man and the cast from the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2, including Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx, joined millions of everyday Super Heroes in the world's largest celebration for the planet. Helping to inspire more people to make a sustainable change in the UAE were a host of local superhero ambassadors who stood shoulder to shoulder with Spiderman this March 29. They are Olympian Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum, HH Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi (also known as the Green Sheikh), Emirati adventuress Samia Al Mudhareb, Virgin Radio’s DJ Kris Fade, show jumper Abdulla Al Marri, Olympian Samira Al Bitar, student George Zacharia and DJ Bliss supported on social media, in media interviews as well as appeared in promotional videos and photos while also reaching out to their own circles of followers to inspire environmental change.

“Tonight Earth Hour will be celebrated by every continent, and people in every corner of the world will be reaching across boundaries of culture, politics, race and religion to acknowledge the power we all have when we come together for this incredible planet. Earth Hour and lights off is a powerful reminder that we can help to deliver the solutions towards creating a more sustainable future for the planet,” said Andy Ridley, CEO and Co­Founder of Earth Hour.

Earth Hour saw lights switched off across the famous Marina Bay skyline in Singapore, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House and the Bird’s Nest in Beijing. Once again world-renowned UAE buildings including the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world), the iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and the Hyatt Capital Gate (the furthest leaning tower in the world) joined the long list of prestigious landmarks that switched off their lights around the world. There were also a number of community events in the country to celebrate this global event including candle-lit dinners, acoustic concerts and glow in the dark paintings.

Earth Hour reached out to more people in the emirates than ever before and EWS-WWF invites the UAE community to go beyond the hour by continuing to find new ways to implement sustainability to their daily lives.
Burj Khalifa during Earth hour
© EWS-WWF Enlarge

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