Delhi saved 334 mega watts electricity on Saturday, when residents in the city observed Earth Hour. By merely switching off all electrical appliances and non –essential lighting for an hour – between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm, said discom suppliers. While BSES Discoms - BRPL and BYPL - saved 120 MW and 79 MW power respectively, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) managed to save 71 MW electricity, said a spokesperson of these discoms.
On 27 March, cities across the world marked the annual global initiative started by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2007. This year particular focus was drawn to steady environmental destruction giving rise to zoonotic diseases like covid-19. The Earth Hour began in Asia and makes its way to the rest of the world. The campaign aims at highlighting how action needs to be taken to mitigate climate change.
To encourage more participation, the power supplying companies in Delhi launched a hashtag campaign #SpeakUpForNature via whatsapp messages and on social media requesting consumers to turn off all the non-essential lights.
In other parts of the world, some of the iconic buildings and structures took part in the initiative. In London, Houses of Parliament, London Eye Ferris wheel and the Piccadilly Circus switched off to contribute their bit to the Earth Hour. "It's fantastic news that parliament once again is taking part in Earth Hour, joining landmarks across the country and the world to raise awareness of climate change," said Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons.
In Europe, Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Colosseum in Rome also switched off lights. People, who came out to witness this, had to adhere to the strict covid-19 restrictions that Italy had enforced. Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and Kremlin in Moscow also showed their support.
It was not just buildings with historical significance but also places of entertainment and shopping, which voluntarily switched off for an hour. For instance, Singapore and Hong Kong skylines, as did Bangkok most famous and popular mall CentralWorld. Australia’s Sydney Opera House, and the Namdaemun gate in South Korea also participated.
Speaking about this year’s thrust of man-made destruction of the environment and increasing incidences of zoonotic diseases, Marco Lambertini, director general of the WWF, said, "Whether it is a decline in pollinators, fewer fish in the ocean and rivers, disappearing forests or the wider loss of biodiversity, the evidence is mounting that nature is in free fall. And this is because of the way we live our lives and run our economies.”
Obviously, protecting nature was everyone’s moral responsibility. However, the way our actions had adverse impact on nature would only increase our vulnerability to pandemics, accelerates climate change, and threatens our food security, he stressed.