As announced by Patong Municipality, non-essential lights went off from 8.30pm till 9.30pm in Phuket’s renowned resort city. The same was done simultaneously in numerous places of the UTC+7 time zone spreading from as far as Norilsk (Russia) in the North to Christmas Island (Australia) in the South and including all of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Then the turn was passed to the next time zone.
Started in 2007 by the World Wide Fund for Nature as a symbolic lights-out event in Sydney, Earth Hour has by now become a catalyst for positive environmental impact with an impressive success record. Literally millions take part in the event every year to draw attention to environmental issues – and officials cannot ignore the numbers of those asking for actions to be taken.
Earth Hour shows climate-sceptic governments that people are concerned about climate change. As a result of Earth Hour’s efforts, in 2012 Russia passed a law to better protect seas from oil pollution. Earth Hour was instrumental for the creation of Argentina’s largest marine protected area and the first-ever Earth Hour forest in Uganda. Following successful Earth Hour campaigns, plastic bags were banned on the Galapagos Islands and 5 mn sq km French Polynesia’s exclusive economic zone were classified as a managed marine area.
To learn more about how to support Earth Hour efforts on any chosen day of year, please visit www.earthhour.org.