Cities in 92 countries around the world prepare to shut off their lights for one hour tomorrow in observance of Earth Hour, an annual event geared at showing support for taking action on climate change issues.
During Earth Hour, people around the world are asked to turn off their lights for an hour at 8:30 p.m. local time on March 27. This year the event has topped its participation figure from last year, which was 88 countries.
Countries and regions involved for the first time include: the world’s newest country Kosovo, the remote island nation of Madagascar, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Mongolia, Cambodia, Czech Republic, Paraguay, Ecuador and the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Marina Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Earth Hour global organizers confirm there are currently more than 1,100 cities and towns signed up to switch their lights off on Sunday evening, 100 more than last year. Among the iconic landmarks in cities taking place are the Tokyo Tower in Tokyo and Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.
"Earth Hour demonstrates the determination of the world’s citizens for a better, healthier world," said Earth Hour Executive Director, Andy Ridley. "It brings together cities, communities, businesses and individuals on the journey to positive action on climate change."
Earth Hour is an initiative by the non-profit environmental group WWF. The event began in Sydney in 2007, when 2 million people switched off their lights.
In 2008, more than 50 million people around the globe participated. In 2009, hundreds of millions of people in more than 4,000 cities and towns switched off their lights for one hour.