KARACHI: On Saturday 8:30 pm local time, WWF-Pakistan joined 184 nations around the world in celebrations marking the tenth edition of Earth Hour-the movement's biggest edition yet-in a global moment of solidarity for climate change. Landmarks across the country switched off their lights and joined WWF-Pakistan's call to stand with millions of people shining a light on climate change.
In Karachi, 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, Wasim Akhtar, Mayor Karachi; Shaikh Muhammad Afzal, Former Environment Minister; Naeem Ahmed Mughal, DG Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA); and other senior officials of organisations partnering with WWF-Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar said that it is high time to act against the adverse impacts of climate change and promote alternative energy options in country. He said that although Earth is facing serious climate change threats including sea level rise, increase in temperature, melting of glaciers, heavy floods and widespread rainfalls these can be addressed if industrialized countries take practical measures to reduce greenhouse gases and adapt environmental sustainable practices. He urged that there is also a need to take efforts for conservation of water and energy resources at the local level.
While, Zehra Mehdi, Deputy Director, Sustainability Management at K-Electric said that in line with KE's Climate Change Policy, they are committed to providing clean, reliable and affordable energy for Karachi's sustainable development. 'We are devoted to create awareness about energy conservation and look forward to working with WWF for greener and sustainable Karachi', she added.
In Peshawar, WWF-Pakistan's goodwill ambassadors, Khumariyaan the band, took the opportunity to spread awareness about climate change in an event organised at the Ladies Club, University Town, by the City District Government, Peshawar. They engaged the audience with Earth Hour messages in an impactful and meaningful way. In Lahore, WWF-Pakistan in collaboration with Emporium Mall celebrated Earth Hour amongst hundreds of participants.
As part of Earth Hour, people, cities and businesses around the world switched off their lights for one hour to draw attention to the urgent need to step up our fight against climate change. With the historic Paris Agreement on climate change now in full force, there's never been a more crucial time to hold leaders accountable and show strong public support for efforts to stem climate change. From the Eiffel Tower to Taipei 101 and the Empire State Building to the Acropolis, thousands of landmarks switched off their lights in solidarity as individuals, communities and organisations worldwide delivered on their potential to help change climate change, the planet's biggest environmental challenge yet.
2017 marks the tenth 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 defense. The one-hour event continues to remain 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.