World, Environment, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Millions unite online to mark Earth Hour amid COVID-19

Iconic buildings switch off their lights, celebrities also mark day to show support for planet

Burak Bir   | 29.03.2020
Millions unite online to mark Earth Hour amid COVID-19


Millions of people from a record-breaking 190 countries and territories joined Earth Hour 2020 online on Saturday, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Although Earth Hour 2020 was marked online at home due to the pandemic, many people – including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Pope Francis and Swedish activist Greta Thunberg – also took part at 20.30 p.m.

Earth Hour and related hashtags were trended across 37 countries on Twitter and Google Search, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said in a statement on Sunday.

"Earth Hour 2020 generated over 3 billion social media impressions globally and its related hashtags trended across 37 countries on Twitter and Google search, making it one of the most successful online events in its history," the wildlife advocate group said.

The group highlighted that this year's events beautifully exemplified the resilience of the human spirit amid a crisis, COVID-19 pandemic.

"The success of this year's Earth Hour is a testimony to the incredible human spirit and the power of collective action," said Marco Lambertini, director-general of WWF International.

Apart from online postings and meetings as well as environment-friendly activities at homes, over 100 iconic buildings -- including the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the UAE, the Colosseum in Rome and Tokyo Skytree -- switched off their lights, to draw attention to nature loss and climate change.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Indian film star Amitabh Bachchan, UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza, Kenyan singing sensation Nikita Kering, Colombian model Claudia Bahamon and British singer and songwriter Cat Stevens were among many public personalities who participated in Earth Hour this year.

Born in Sydney in 2007, WWF's flagship global environmental movement Earth Hour has grown to become one of the world's largest grassroots movements for the environment, inspiring individuals, communities, businesses and organizations in more than 180 countries and territories to take tangible environmental action for over a decade.

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