Earth Hour 2017 – For A Solar Powered City Turning the lights off across Hong Kong to change climate change
- More than 3,100 landmarks across 187 countries and territories took part in Earth Hour 2017
- Over 5,600 companies, organizations and buildings in Hong Kong committed to taking part in Earth Hour
- Nearly 300 primary and secondary schools supported Earth Hour
- “The Symphony of Lights” in Victoria Harbour was suspended
- The Tsing Ma Bridge, IFC, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Government House and the Legislative Council complex all took part in this iconic lights-out event
During the afternoon of 25 March, WWF’s Earth Hour student ambassadors and Nature Conservation Leaders greeted pedestrians and spread important Earth Hour messages across Hong Kong in a colourful tram parade. Later on, WWF-Hong Kong’s Earth Hour 2017 Countdown event was held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui. After a musical kick off by the LEDance and the senior student choir of the Buddhist Chan Wing Kan Memorial School, WWF’s Citizen Ambassadors took centre stage and rode e-bikes to generate renewable power – urging everyone in Hong Kong to support Earth Hour and give the world hope for a brighter future. Soon after, the numerous guests and participants witnessed the lights dim across Victoria Harbour as the amazing Earth Hour “lights-out” moment arrived.
At the ceremony, WWF-Hong Kong was honoured to host guests Mr KS Wong, JP, Secretary for the Environment of the HKSAR; Mr Edward M. HO, Chairman of WWF-Hong Kong’s Executive Council; Mr An Xuesong, Director of Everbright International Environmental Protection Charitable Foundation; Mr Shun Chi-ming, JP, Director of the Hong Kong Observatory; Mr Leung Wing-mo, Adjunct Professor of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Dr. Rebecca LEE, MH, Founder of Polar Museum Foundation and Mr. Peter CORNTHWAITE, CEO of WWF-Hong Kong; along with our Earth Hour 2017 ambassadors, Ms Karena Lam and Mr Francis Ng.
As the lights started to go out across Hong Kong at 8:30pm, the officiating guests pinned various symbolic props related to natural resources and renewable energy onto a representation of Earth, officially marking the start of Earth Hour 2017. Meanwhile, the four Citizen Ambassadors rode e-bikes to generate renewable power to symbolize “For A Solar Powered City” and create support for renewable energy.
Mr KS Wong and representatives from WWF and Everbright International Environmental Protection Charitable Foundation gave speeches expressing their appreciation of the public’s keen participation in Earth Hour. As climate records continue to be broken across the planet – 2016 has now been officially declared the hottest year on record – there is no doubt that climate change poses a fundamental threat to places, species and livelihoods everywhere. Mr Shum Chi-ming and Professor Leung Wing-mo discussed extreme weather and climate change, and expressed their wish that Hong Kong will work harder to combat climate change. Our first-time Earth Hour ambassadors, Ms Karena Lam and Mr Francis Ng, shared green tips from their daily lives and explained how they educate their children to live an eco-friendly lifestyle and consume resources wisely.
Mr KS Wong, JP, Secretary for the Environment of the HKSAR, said, “To combat climate change, in January, the Environment Bureau announced Hong Kong's Climate Action Plan 2030+. This plan set out the city’s carbon emission reduction targets for 2030 and our plans to meet these targets, including the adoption of cleaner energy, energy saving, waste reduction and more. Earlier, in April 2016, the Environment Bureau launched its Charter on External Lighting. Over 4,800 properties and shops have now signed this Charter, committing to switching off unnecessary external lighting at a preset time. We hope that the properties and shops which have not yet signed the Charter will proactively consider participating and develop considerate energy saving habits.”
Mr Edward M. Ho, Chairman of WWF-Hong Kong’s Executive Council, said, “This year’s theme, ‘For A Solar Powered City’, calls for an increase in support for renewable energy in Hong Kong. Energy efficient technology is the most environmentally-friendly way to reduce emissions, and Hong Kong has the resources and the talent to develop this technology. At the same time, WWF is encouraging the public to begin living a low-carbon lifestyle to reduce our consumption of resources. With individuals, businesses and the government working together, WWF believes that we can build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. ”
Mr AN Xuesong, Director of the Everbright International Environmental Protection Charitable Foundation, Earth Hour’s lead sponsor for four consecutive years, declared that “Earth Hour is an ‘easy-to-do’ yet meaningful activity. Switching off the lights is a profound environmental concept: If every one of us does their utmost to save energy, we can form a great power that can lessen the environmental burden on the city and increase our level of sustainability. As a business, we proactively explore and carry out ways to reduce energy consumption in our daily activities. We have also incorporated the concept of Earth Hour into our corporate culture. Every one of us – corporates and individuals – is responsible for protecting nature and creating a world where people and the planet can live in harmony.”
In the run up to Earth Hour, WWF launched a social media campaign called #EarthHourMoment to motivate and engage everyone in Hong Kong to extend the spirit of Earth Hour across the city and beyond. The campaign asks people to take photos of their own unique “lights-out” moments, what they plan to do during Earth Hour, and their daily energy-saving actions. These photos are being shared on social media feeds through the #EarthHourMoment hashtag.
This year in Hong Kong, 300 primary and secondary schools and more than 5,600 companies, organizations and buildings committed to taking part in Earth Hour. An array of landmarks and iconic buildings also came out in support, including the Tsing Ma Bridge, International Finance Centre, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, International Commerce Centre, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Hong Kong Observation Wheel, Government House, the Chief Executive's office and the Legislative Council complex. The daily harbour front light show “The Symphony of Lights” was also suspended for Earth Hour. Globally, a new record of 187 countries and territories and over 3,100 landmarks around the world turned off their lights, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Sydney Opera House, Empire State Building in New York and Taipei 101.
Earth Hour Hong Kong website: earthhour.hk
Earth Hour 2017 Hong Kong TVC: https://youtu.be/wy4Buw5SODE