KARACHI: At 8:30pm on Saturday, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - Pakistan joined 184 nations around the world in celebrating the 10th edition of Earth Hour - a global moment of solidarity for climate change.
Lights were turned off at landmarks across the country as people joined WWF-Pakistan's call to stand together with the millions of global residents shining a light on climate change.
Lights at important buildings in the city were dimmed at 8:30pm, including Quaid's Mausoleum and government offices together with high-rise buildings on II Chundrigar Road.
WWF-Pakistan, in collaboration with Engro Foundation, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), K-Electric and Crescent Steel, observed Earth Hour at Frere Hall. Participants of the event included Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, former environment minister Shaikh Muhammad Afzal, Sindh Environmental Protection Agency Director-General Naeem Ahmed Mughal and other senior officials.
Akhtar said it is high time to act against the adverse impacts of climate change and promote alternative energy options in the country. He said that although the Earth is facing serious climate change threats, including a rising sea level, increasing temperature, melting of glaciers, heavy floods and widespread rainfall, these can be addressed if industrialised countries take practical measures to reduce greenhouse gases and adapt environmentally sustainable practices. He said there is also a need to make efforts for the conservation of water and energy resources at the local level.
Pakistan to observe 10th Earth Hour today
WWF-Pakistan Director-General Hammad Naqi Khan said the country has embraced the true essence of the movement. "We have come a long way since 2010 when WWF-Pakistan first celebrated Earth Hour," he said. "The seed we sowed has taken root and the masses today are comparatively well-aware of the climatic changes around us. If we take a look into our past, we will understand that movements have shaped our lives and the Earth Hour movement will shape our future. It is a constant reminder that we should work towards the transformation of a more prosperous and renewable future."
Mughal said that as a nation we have to take action against hazards to nature and the Earth. He added that on an individual basis we have to make sure that we are doing no harm to the environment by ensuring that we are not spreading pollution with our lifestyles.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Earth Hour, which started as a symbolic event in Sydney in 2007. Today, it is the world's largest grassroots movement for the environment, ensuring that people who are on the frontlines of climate change are also empowered to be the planet's first line of defence. The hour-long event continues to be the key driver of the movement, encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off non-essential lights as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.